Putting the sun to work: Fifth-graders build solar-powered cars and more

students at BBCC for solar day
Photo by BBCC Public Affairs Office

By Cheryl Schweizer of the Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE — The race was on.

The goal for Moses Lake fifth-graders was to harness the heating power of the sun, using a pizza box and a couple of pieces of aluminum foil. A thermometer in the box recorded their progress.

But getting the maximum benefit of the sun required some careful calculation. The box had to be at just the right angle, and the thermometer had to be in just the right spot. Organizers asked which team could get the highest temperature out of their improvised solar oven. Teams of fifth-graders crouched over their pizza boxes, turning them this way and that, adjusting the lids to catch maximum rays.

Solar ovens were among the many experiments available to fifth-graders at the Solar Car Races and Energy Science Fair. It’s an annual event, sponsored by the Grant County PUD, SEC Silicon, Puget Sound Energy, Big Bend Community College and the Moses Lake School District.

The energy fair focuses on renewable energy – hydropower, solar and wind energy. The experiments were set up on the lawn behind the ATEC building on the BBCC campus.

For more photos from this event. visit the Big Bend Community College Facebook page HERE!

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