with Ed Insel
Our current events team du jour started us off with some interesting topics that led us into gene sequencing, biotechnology, and aeronautics. We discussed the two papers the class read for homework: one on the nature of light (photon wave-particle duality) and the other on the photovoltaic effect (photons striking metal can knock an electron loose). We discussed concepts of “voltage” and electric fields, then used a digital meter to measure the voltage output of a variety of battery types.
These important topics gave them the knowledge to begin our solar energy project. They each got a kit with several projects they can build. For this week, we just focused on assembling the photovoltaic unit. Everyone measured the output of their cells to make sure they’re working properly. They wanted to take their kits home – I don’t think they’re going to wait to start some solar engineering work!
Homework for Next Session
Our next current event volunteers should, as usual, choose a current social topic and be prepared to explain 1) the topic they chose and 2) the role that science plays in it.