By Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 received a jolt of energy today when busloads of students from local southern California middle and high schools visited the Solar Decathlon village for tours of solar-powered competition houses as part of the Solar Decathlon School Days program.
“The best thing I learned today is that you can save so much energy by doing so little,” said Daniel, a ninth-grader from University High School in Irvine, which brought 380 students to School Days on eight buses.
“Seeing the technology in use makes it more real for the students,” said Tom Shake, Daniel’s teacher. Shake said he would be applying his students’ Solar Decathlon experience within the curriculum for a new course called Earth Systems Science.
Tinh Tran, another University High School ninth-grade teacher, asked his students to take pictures and videos of energy efficiency technology and appliances to use throughout the year to illustrate course curriculum. He also asked his students to find things they can do in their own homes to be more energy-efficient.
In addition to tours of the Solar Decathlon village, School Days offers educational programs designed to help students understand more about energy efficiency and renewable energy. Corporate sponsors provided branded giveaways, such as sunglasses and recycled bags, for the students. Some schools received grants for transporting their students by bus to the event.
Students seemed pleased with their Solar Decathlon field trip. Overheard on Decathlete Way:
“I didn’t realize you could use bamboo to build a house.”
“I want to be a decathlete and form my own team.”
“I like how houses can look so good for so little money.”
School Days will continue in the Solar Decathlon village tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.