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Enhancing Engineering Pathways students visit local solar-powered home of retired professor

July 24, 2012

Photo of an Enhancing Engineering Pathways student holding a Solar Today magazineNIU’s Enhancing Engineering Pathways hosted a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) camp in June.

While attending the camp, three groups of 20 girls each were taken to the home of Richard Born to tour the solar photovoltaic (PV) system that powers it.

Born is a retired member of the NIU College of Business faculty as well as a member of the American Solar Energy Society.

“I was so pleased when Professor Rajashankar called and asked if I would be willing to host the girls attending the STEM camp,” Born said.

“All of these fine students were very enthusiastic and interested in learning some of the basics of how solar PV systems work, and how they can be of help in sustaining the environment.”

NIU professor Suma Rajashankar accompanied the students to Born’s home.

Photo of an Enhancing Engineering Pathways students visiting a local solar-powered home.

During the time they spent at the solar-powered house, they were divided into four groups to participate in various STEM activities.

The five activities included examining the sun through a solar telescope, monitoring how much energy the system produces, learning the effect that shadows have on solar energy, calculating the time it takes to charge a Chevy Volt and investigating how a sundial works.

The camp, which took place from June 11 to June 15, was made possible by the Motorola Solutions Foundation.

Details of the hands-on demonstration were covered in the magazine Solar Today.