“Wow, the sun makes this fan spin so fast! That’s a lot of energy.” said one Girl Scout participant at “The Power of Solar Power” virtual outreach event held March 7th, 2021 over Zoom.
This event was put together and run by 5 volunteers from the SWE NewYork City and Long Island Outreach Committee. The purpose of the event was to introduce the renewable energy industry to spark the interest of young girls in pursuing science and engineering. It involved 8th grade girl scouts exploring solar energy by applying solar energy principles to build and power small circuits.
The 2.5 hour event contained 2 lectures and a hands-on activity. The lecture on alternative energy, photovoltaic cells, and electrical circuits gave the 18 girl scout participants a basic understanding of what solar energy is and the different applications of solar energy. The scientific method lecture allowed the girls to learn about the scientific method and the proper way to conduct an experiment, which they applied in the hands-on activity portion. With the help of the SWE volunteers in the Zoom breakout rooms, the participants were able to follow along in constructing solar-powered circuits at home, using a kit containing photovoltaic cells, motor, propeller, alligator clips, light bulb, & colored cellophane.
As a result of this event, the Girl Scout Troop selected solar energy as the topic for their silver award project, and will be working with SWE to practically apply solar energy to their community.
Best Practices reported by the section: Since the event was virtual, the at-home kits were a huge success! It is important to select the right type of kit for the age range of the participants. It is also important to manage the time of each activity so that all the girls are moving along at the same pace.
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