Headed by Jordan Brown, one group from Wilcox planned a field trip to SCU so the class could tour the Solar Decathlon house and Kennedy Commons. Jordan and I were in close contact for a couple of weeks, and his group filled out all of the necessary paperwork for busses and permission slips, and on Thursday of last week the trip happened.
Allison Kopf, the project coordinator of this year’s Solar House, gave the tour. I went to meet them when they arrived and joined them on the tour. They got here at 8 am, which is an ungodly hour in the middle of dead week, so we were all incredibly grateful to Allison for giving the tour.
The kids seemed genuinely interested in all of the minor marvels that contribute to the house. They were surprised that there was actually electricity, that the solar panels were really doing their thing. Another thing that we all found interesting was the window film that changed color according to how much light was coming into the room. I think the students were very impressed that college students had built this house from scratch. I couldn’t believe that those skinny bamboo I-beams were supporting all of the solar panels, which Allison said weighed several thousands pounds.
I hope the trip stimulates further ideas and exploration as the project continues. Jordan’s group will now have to find some other way to fill their time as the class continues working on the decathlon.