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Students create solar panel chargers

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Students present solar panels chargers to OpTerra Group

To expand students’ knowledge and experience with solar panels, the combined classes of three STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) teachers presented solar cell phone chargers to the OpTerra Group and SDUSD (San Diego Unified School District) Office of Secondary Schools members in the auditorium on May 22.

STEM teachers Carlie Nemecek, Omar Garcia, and Melanie Matthews began the project last summer where students began creating and designing their own cell phone chargers.

Their work came to fruition in a presentation consisting of their prototypes, original plans, 3D models, and research on the materials they used.

Working with solar panels was more difficult than expected as students faced unforeseen obstacles.

“The solar panels are very fragile so they would break many times. They also couldn’t charge the phone yet because the panels had a difficulty with amperage, so we had to fix that in our panels,” freshman Alexis Sulit said.

Beyond their difficulties, the project presented them with opportunities as it enabled them to exhibit their design to the OpTerra Group, the company that installed solar panels at Morse.

“They asked pretty simple questions, so we treated it like we were presenting to anyone,” freshman Liezel Luzano said.

The students’ presentation went smoothly and many hope to participate again.
“Overall I think my presentation went well and it was definitely a different experience,” Sulit said. “I feel like I would participate in this kind of project again because it’s a great process to go through and to create a new thing that you wouldn’t do on your own.”

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