Wednesday, August 20, 2014

As long as the sun keeps shining for this classroom

Solar panel heats classroom
August 19, 2014 - Jason Shields doesn't care how cold it gets this winter.

As long as the sun keeps shining, his engineering space at Kings High School will stay toasty warm despite being the size of three regular classrooms.

A solar panel designed and built by his students over the past two years was installed in late March and provides enough energy to heat his classroom on the coldest days.

"My classroom was always freezing cold because of the exterior walls," Shields said. "Now, it's constantly 71 degrees."

The project started after Shields was selected for the Toyota International Teacher Program in Costa Rica. There, he and other educators developed lessons based on the environment and sustainability. Action plans were developed.

Upon his return, Shields challenged his Engineering 2 class to come up with a problem and then find a solution, just as engineers would do in the workplace.

The catch: The solution had to be affordable.

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