Are you going on that summer holiday in August? If you plan on staying at a five-star hotel on Oahu, then please do not read this post. If you are planning on getting out of the city but want to stay connected, then you should read on about how solar energy can help make your trip easier. I just came back from a glorious vacation with the family. We couldn’t get enough of the fresh air, the vistas and just the immense and penetrating beauty that the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion have to offer. And the kids were especially happy that we could stay connected. You may enjoy the hiking or admiring the views, but you need to remember that the kids want to be able to use their electronics even when the nearest outlet is miles away. And in an emergency, you don’t want to look down at a drained cell phone. This risk is especially acute when you are using a lot of energy on your cell phone to take pictures. Then you need to make a telephone call and you may not have enough juice on your tablet or cell phone. That is no problem. Just connect your telephone or tablet to a solar backpack and you can stay connected.
Archive for the ‘Solar Kids’ Category
I know that I may be a little behind the times, but I just watched James Cameron’s blockbuster smash “Avatar” with my kids on the “small” screen, and was surprised to see just how many “Going Green” messages there were in this futuristic movie. You may remember that the only application for solar energy used to be on the Space Station–or the Mars Rover. The technology hasn’t changed much in 25 years, but what has changed is the cost of photovoltaic, which now allows homeowners and business owners throughout the world to use solar energy on Earth. You don’t have to have a futuristic home to place solar panels on your roof. Any view of the future requires the adoption of solar or other renewable energy.
Now even lions are getting into the solar action. San Diego Zoo is installing a large solar panel system for its customers and its residents. While the environmental benefits of the project are evident, it will also have educational benefits. As the zoo hosts millions of people annually, “…the solar canopies and EV chargers will be part of an educational experience about clean energy…” It is imperative to remember that the zoo draws many children to visit, “so they will be able to learn about animals, clean energy, and climate change in one setting.” Connecting the Solar-EV exhibit to the effects of fossil fuels and climate change on animals present at the zoo, such as polar bears, will further emphasize the importance of renewable energy sources to future generations.
SolarTown visited a middle school in Washington, DC today. We let the kids borrow a solar oven for the next month so that they can cook up their favorite foods. On SolarTownKids, we have an activity to make your own solar cooker. If you are the parent of a school age kid, you might ask your child to cook you up some food with a solar cooker. And if you have a favorite solar activity to share on SolarTownKids, let us know.
If you are looking for activities to do with your kids—when they are home because of the snow, or earthquakes, or just for a weekend activity, then you may want to check out our new sister site meant just for kids, parents and teachers. SolarTownKids is meant for kids who want to teach their parents a thing or two about solar energy. SolarTownKids introduces the basics of solar energy for kids and explains why and how we should use solar power. Many schools throughout the country are putting solar panels on their roofs, and these solar arrays are great learning tools for kids to understand the power of solar energy. As our kids are getting back to school, we encourage you to visit this special site for solar kids.
Last week, I took my kids to watch the shuttle launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch was supposed to be the final launch of Endeavour and the second to last launch of the shuttle before the fleet is retired this summer. Mindful of the vagaries of the weather and the unpredictability of technical problems, we waited until the last minute to make our non-refundable reservations. We may not have seen the shuttle launch, but we did see some pretty impressive displays of how NASA is using solar energy here on EarthWe did not hide our disappointment at not seeing the Shuttle blast off into the cosmos. By all accounts, that is a remarkable experience for those who have had the privilege of watching men and women reach for the stars. We may have to settle for the next generation of space shuttles. We were pleased, however, to see how NASA is utilizing the rays of the sun not only in the cosmos, but here on Earth. And if it is good enough for NASA, then solar is good enough for the rest of us.
Ken Stadlin of Kenergy Solar in Maryland came up to talk solar and give the kids a solar run for their money. Ken was there to press the kids to participate in the Junior Solar Sprint Car Competition organized by the US Department of Energy. This outstanding program challenges kids from all over the country to work together and build solar cars. Sounds dull—no chance! The kids love it but of course they need parents and teachers to help organize these events. And that is where Ken comes in. Ken wants to get kids and their parents from around the region more involved in the Junior Solar Sprints.
Buried on page 20 of our local paper was a news item “Students push solar for NCS.” The National Cathedral School may not qualify as you your average American school. (For those of you not in the know, NCS is a private school home to some of sons and daughters of the elite of the Nation’s Capital.) But what is going on at NCS may be a glimpse of what the future holds. The article in the Northwest Current chronicles how NCS is now planning on installing 32 solar panels on a century old (read historical) building at NCS—due to the insistence and perseverance of two students at NCS, Charlotte Zimmerman and Christina Boulineaux. The two raised $20,000 and even interviewed solar contractors so that they could place these solar panels on NCS.