Trina L Short (trinalin) wrote,
Trina L Short

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B-WISER About Energy

Last summer during B-WISER we decided to remove the computer class (7th grade girls are pretty much on top of computers these days) and replace it with a course on energy and environmentalism. One reason was that we could get more grant money, but another, more important reason, is that we felt it was a useful subject to teach the girls about. As I was the one teaching computers and was one of the proponents for the new class, I got to be the teacher. Lucky me!

Actually, I think I've come up with a good set of experiments and demonstrations for the course. Thanks to one grant we received, I have a $500 budget for the class. This is good - I've managed to get compact fluorescent light bulbs for each girl to take home as well as some solar-powered flashlights. (No, you don't have to run them in the sun. When the battery dies, charge it up & it works in the dark again.) One of my co-workers at the camp works with the Ohio Energy Project and she's got some other goodies for me to give the girls.

With the labs written now (finished 'em yesterday) and most of the supplies purchased (got all the different fuels today), it's just a matter of getting the experimental apparatuses built and tested. And tonight, father and I (well, mostly dad) built the prototype for the solar panel apparatus we'll be using. We had a few problems due to the solar panel wiring (well, more of a metal foil strip than wire) breaking on one side of the panel. I actually managed to figure out how to know if we soldered it correctly (hooking it up to the voltage probe and moving the copper wire until the voltage changed - then we knew we had the right spot). Hopefully I can avoid breaking the foil off of the others.

Tomorrow I've got more work to do on 'em, as well as buy more hinges for the rest of the solar panel apparatuses since we know now they work for my needs. I also will have some soldering to do - need to make some alligator clip wires since 6 of my voltage probes have a funny way of connecting. But having a working prototype makes me feel good. Of course, camp starts Sunday... Heh.

You know, over the years I managed to reduce the amount of stuff I had to bring to B-WISER down to a minimum. But now with this new class, I've got a carload of stuff I'll be bringing. (And one idea was getting an energy bike to the camp. I don't think so....) But as I've designed the class to use my Vernier LabQuests as much as possible, I'm really excited.
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