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Cerro Coso Campus
Middle School and High School Training in Wind and Solar Technology offered by Cerro Coso
October 13, 2010
Ridgecrest, California: Cerro Coso Community College in conjunction with NSF-CREATE, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, and Hands On Solar, Inc. offered a FREE two day training event to middle, high school, and college teachers in both wind and solar technology on October 8 and 9, 2010. Twenty seven teachers participated in KidWind training and another 29 instructors took part in solar workshops during the two day event held at the College.
Partnering with professionals in wind and solar education the goal of this training was to introduce teachers to the benefits and wonders of wind and solar power through hands-on science activities which are challenging and engaging. These instructors can now take what they learned in the hands-on workshops into their classrooms thereby exposing hundreds, if not thousands of students to wind and solar energy. Participants were given the option of attending a workshop on KidWind Teaching or Introduction to Solar Training. Both workshops were designed to build a diverse community of teachers to improve science education through inquiry based learning.
KidWind is specialized training for middle and high school teachers to provide renewable energy to students in the engineering and design of wind turbines. The KidWind team of teachers, engineers, and scientists are committed to innovative energy education. This training provided teachers with affordable "classroom ready" materials to make student experiences interesting and engaging. The team showed teachers how to instruct students in the design of their own wind turbines in teams and compete in the regional KidWind competitions that will take place in the spring. Participants also received a comprehensive curriculum package, free classroom materials, substitute fees (paid to their district) for those who attend training on Friday. The incentive got even better with a $100 stipend and free hotel for those who attend both days.
Topics explored in the workshops included: Constructing Weightlifting Windmills from scratch; Wind Energy Basics, Science and Classroom Applications; Constructing Electricity Producing Wind Turbines; Building and Testing Wind Turbine Blades; Science of Wind Turbine Blade Design; and Measuring Turbine Power Output & Powering Load Devices; and a Tour of Wind Farm or Manufacturing Facility.
Introduction to Solar Training was dedicated to helping high school and college instructors increase their working knowledge of how to develop and enhance curriculum to meet the new and emerging demands in solar technology training. The focus was on how to develop instructional programs in Solar Electricity (Photovoltaic), for colleges and schools. Topics covered included: the importance of solar energy; How to start effective programs; Instructional resources; Curriculum development; Setting up a PV Lab; Safety issues; Tools and Equipment; Securing Local Support; The Labor Connection; Job Placement; Internships and volunteers; Federal & state requirements IREC & ISPQ; NABCEP Entry Level Program; and more.
Photovoltaic Teacher Development was the theme of the Saturday, October 9th workshop. This program was dedicated to advanced teacher development in photovoltaic with renowned author, Jim Dunlop (Photovoltaic Systems), and veteran presenter, Brian Hurd, of Hands on Solar, Inc. Topics explored included: Photovoltaics: the whole house approach; Energy efficiency; Teacher development opportunities; Becoming a qualified instructor; Teaching resources; Critical path of instruction - what to teach- a step by step approach; Matching the text to the NABCEP Entry Level Learning Objectives; PV system design - using PV Watts; Effective use of online resources.
"Partnering with other educational institutions and industry leaders allows Cerro Coso to share experiences, vision, knowledge, talent, and resources that add exceptional value in developing programs that produce top performers. We are very excited about the success of this project and the impact it will have on our students, communities, and environment," stated Jill Board, Cerro Coso Community College, President.
This training was partially supported by the CREATE Grant from the National Science Foundation ATE Program #1002653.
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