HVAC Breaking News

June 24, 2013: Solar Decathlon Team Teaches Fifth Graders About Solar

Engineering Students Provide ‘Virtual Field Trip’ of Solar Home’s Mechanical Room

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara University (SCU) engineering students are holding monthly Google+ Hangouts On Air with elementary schoolers in Irvine, Calif., using the live video chats to teach the children about what goes into designing and building a solar home, and allowing the elementary students to ask questions. The SCU Solar Decathlon team is building a 1,000-square-foot home on campus before loading it on trucks and hauling it to Irvine for the U.S. Department of Energy competition set for October.

“We’re really excited for this opportunity to build a home that produces more energy than it uses and love the idea of sharing our passion for sustainability with the next generation,” said mechanical engineering student Brian Grau, ‘15.

Plaza Vista School teacher Scott Bedley first approached the team to talk to his class in January. Since then, hundreds of people have watched the hangouts both live and archived and several additional schools are participating.

“I’m so thankful the team from SCU agreed to inspire not only my class, but now together we are reaching many others in the process,” said Bedley.

The fifth graders have learned about how the solar panels work and taken a “virtual field trip” of the mechanical room of SCU’s Solar Decathlon 2009 entry “Refract House.” The mechanical room holds the systems that control the heating and cooling, convert solar energy, run electrical panels, and monitor the entire house.

“We told the kids the mechanical room is like the home’s brain,” said Nicole Pal, assistant project manager and a junior at SCU. “It’s fun to break down these complicated concepts and we’ve been delighted that the students have caught on so fast. Sometimes they ask questions that better help us understand what we’re doing.”

The next Google+ Hangout On Air is scheduled for Aug. 1 at 9 a.m. PST. Visit http://sd13.scu.edu/hangouts.php.

Publication date: 6/24/2013

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Mark Crockett
Mark Crockett vice president, Crockett Facilities Services, explains the importance of technician training, the value of being a top minority-owned company in the U.S., current projects the company is managing, and much more. Posted on April 24.
More Podcasts


NEWS 04-20-15 cover

2015 April 20

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Global Warming

Do you believe in man-made global warming?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con