Multiverse Blog

Ruth Paglierani
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Bulldogs Have Their Eyes on the Sky! (Energy from the Sun workshop in L.A.)

Handmade poster showing the Sun

School-wide science theme for this year.

We just wrapped up a great Teacher Workshop at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory—Energy from the Sun. The workshop focused on solar science and solar energy and it coincided with one of the stormiest, wettest weekends in Los Angeles in a very long time. We are beginning to think that our solar workshops may actually have the power to bring rain!

Our teachers showed awesome examples of how they are bringing the science of the Sun to their schools. We were lucky to have a great presentation by Kathi Lund and her colleagues from Santa Clarita Elementary School… it was titled “One Story of Solar in the Schools” and it was an impressive story indeed. These teachers, with the guiding help of Kathi, the school librarian, are bringing solar topics to all grade levels, with some 400 students—aka the Santa Clarita Bulldogs—getting to know the Sun a little better. Their solar exploration included hands-on activities such as observing and documenting changing shadows, creation of energy chains to learn how energy from the Sun changes form, working with UV-sensitive beads, and testing radiant heat from the Sun (actually they have done even more, but I’ll leave it at this for now…).

crowd in sunshine

Students exploring energy chains.

All of this attention on the Sun led to making some interesting connections to the community—with G.A.T.E. students taking a field trip to a local solar installer and learning more about how solar arrays work in their own backyards!

We are wishing the Bulldogs clear skies and sunny weather for the spring! They were awarded a grant and have purchased a sunspotter to get up close and personal with the Sun and sunspots….Just in time to observe the Sun at near solar maximum. Here’s to lots of sunspots!

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