Apr. 28, 2024
Sphere Solar | Uncategorized

Climate Day of Action at Nathan Hale High School

By Ev Randles, Sphere Solar Energy | Seattle, WA | April 28th, 2024

“I haven’t really thought about this stuff before”, one student said, a sentiment shared by many at Nathan Hale High School’s Climate Day of Action. With 32 different workshop sessions to choose from, including subjects such as Duwamish River Habitat Restoration, Electrification and Equity, and Sci-fi Climate Justice, the Climate Day of Action had students interested and involved in the various ways climate change impacts their present and future. Our own workshop, Clean Energy Career Opportunities, attracted both students who knew little about solar energy and students who were quick to share their knowledge and interest in solar and clean energy solutions. This was our third year at Nathan Hale, and we even had some repeat students attend who were passionate about working in clean energy – a big compliment considering the many wonderful workshop participants this year!

Students playing Solar Trivia.

Our interns in this year’s Clean Energy Career Pathway program led the day’s three workshops, facilitating a game of solar energy
trivia before presenting about how solar power works and the growth of careers in solar energy. The real showstopper however was when students got the chance to actually use a solar panel. Despite early skepticism from each group when they saw the very gray and overcast sky, when they connected the positive to positive and negative to negative wires they discovered that there was still enough light energy to power LED lights! The green lights dimmed and brightened as the panel was covered and uncovered, demonstrating the effectiveness of the panel.

But what’s even better than powering lights? Powering your phone! Students took turns charging their phones off the solar panel,
watching the battery icon turn green with power. Sphere interns also showed the students how to use a multimeter to measure the voltage of the large panel (about 17 volts) and the small panel (about 6 volts).

Using the solar panel to power LED lights.

The interns finished the workshop with the solar components’ activity, where the various parts used in installing solar panels were
laid out on a table with a corresponding number. Students did their best to match the part number to the part name on the worksheet, learning about their functions in the process.

But the greatest accomplishment wasn’t the students’ performance in the activities, but the discussions on clean energy and climate change brought about through them. They questioned why their roof wasn’t home to solar panels after learning how it would be
a good candidate from the presentation and seeing solar’s effectiveness firsthand. The teachers were also passionate about the
prospect of installing solar panels on the school’s roof, and invited the students to talk to them further about it.

The last workshop ended with students going around the room rating how worried they were about the climate crisis on a scale from
1 to 10, and why. Their numbers ranged from low to high as students discussed how little or how much they had considered the impacts of climate change. One student described his concern and lamented, “I can’t do anything until I’m older,” to which another responded, “Why not start now?”

“Why not start now?” is the point of Climate Day of Action at Nathan Hale and our Clean Energy Career Pathways program, that is,
to get students more involved in climate action for now and the future. Here at Sphere Solar Energy, we are grateful to have taken
part of educating and inspiring the students of today and the electricians and clean energy workers of tomorrow!

Students learning about the components for installing solar panels