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Posts Tagged ‘Power of One’

Science educators name a champion

Posted in Energy conservation, Renewable energy, Solar on March 28th, 2013 by Susan – Be the first to comment
Photo of Jim White talking to fourth graders at Columbia Elementary

Jim White talks to Wenatchee fourth-graders about how energy from the sun can power cars and more.

Chelan PUD’s Jim White earns statewide award

Around the office, we think of engineer Jim White as something of a wizard. Now the state has recognized him as a science champion.

White, an indefatigable advocate for solar power and renewable energy,  received the  Science Education Advocate Award from the state LASER program — Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have exhibited exceptional support and advocacy for science education in Washington.

White, a senior energy conservation engineer, has been with Chelan PUD for 15 years. He developed the PUD’s Sustainable Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) program which led the way for small-scale solar installations in the state. He conceived and built a zero-energy trailer used to demonstrate renewable energy and energy efficiency at public events; the trailer is now used by instructors at Shoreline College. 

White built a solar go-kart in his garage which was test-driven by his own children before White used it to visit fourth-grade classrooms as a fun teaching aid. He helped Wenatchee High School students build and race a real solar dragster, and last year led students at Cashmere Middle School in a project to build and race Barbie-doll-size solar cars. He helped a  friend, Marcelo da Luz, drive the  Xof1 solar car over the longest ice road in the world to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, where the car was used to teach native school children about renewable energy.

He is a sought-after presenter at Earth Day celebrations and school science fairs. When he’s not busy with renewable energy, he’s busy as a Boy Scout leader and volunteer at numerous community projects.

“My hope is that science education in Washington will teach us all how to survive and thrive, without destroying the natural beauty that surrounds us,” White said. When working with children, his goal has always been to make science fun.

To that end, White built a solar popcorn popper and a solar-operated splash fountain. What kid can resist a chance to splash in a fountain on a warm summer day?

The award is given annually to individuals, organizations or projects that show enthusiastic support for science education. Four individuals and one organization received awards this year.

Each received $5,000, to be awarded to the not-for-profit public education entity of their choice. White designated his award for the North Central Educational Service District to buy about 150 reusable solar car kits for classrooms.

The  reward and recognition program are funded by Boeing.

LASER is a public/private partnership launched in 1999. The Washington State LASER partnership is led by the Strategic Programs Division of Pacific Science Center in Seattle and the Office of Science & Engineering Education at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

White talks about the importance of science education on the LASER website here.

Energy, machines and people in motion

Posted in Electric vehicles, Renewable energy, Solar on February 6th, 2012 by Susan – Be the first to comment

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PUD experts help students make sense of science

Attention Cashmere Middle School parents: If your seventh grader asks you for permission to ski behind a solar-powered car over the frozen highways of Canada, blame Jim White.

White, a Chelan County PUD engineer, and Eric Sydenstricker, PUD technician, are helping students in Bob Martin’s seventh grade science class build their own solar-powered model cars. To introduce the concept, White showed the class a YouTube video of him ice-skiing behind a car that operates totally on solar energy. Not to be outdone, Sydenstricker led the class outdoors, putting his radio-controlled monster truck through a parking-lot snow bank to show off its road skills.

Pretty cool stuff, huh?

The Cashmere demonstration in January kicked off a pilot program that’s bringing PUD employees into classrooms at four middle schools this year. Ruth Erwert, recruiting program manager and Bob Bauer, communications specialist at the PUD, brought the idea to the North Central Educational Service District (ESD). Mechelle LaLanne, ESD science coordinator, worked with teachers and ESD staff to develop the program. Erwert’s goal is to make students aware of career opportunities and “build a pipeline of future workers,” she said. LaLanne’s goal is to place experts in the classrooms to complement the curriculum, which in seventh grade focuses on energy, machines and motion.

The other middle schools and their projects are:

Entiat, where students are working with teacher Kevin Jones to learn about electrical circuits and how they operate mechanical devices. PUD experts offering help and encouragement are John Sagerser, Paul Resler and Cheryl Hobson.

Pioneer in Wenatchee. Under teacher Carolyn Dotter, students plan to investigate the challenges of underwater welding and mechanics. PUD divers Donnie Lane and Brent Thrapp are assisting.

Orchard in Wenatchee. Teacher Dan Myers is working with his students to build a working model of Rocky Reach Dam. PUD employees on that project are Dan Martyn, Tim Halliday, Andy Lolos and Eric Ostrom.

PUD staff will be in the classrooms once a week for six to eight weeks. Then as soon as school is out, students can attend the Action Academy at Rocky Reach. For four half days during the week of June 18, they’ll show-and-tell about their projects, take tours of the dam, talk about how their classroom work correlates to work at the dam, and hear from more PUD staff about career options in other fields.

“Whether students attend a four-year college, a technical school, or stay in the community and apply for an apprenticeship or entry-level job, we want them to realize there are opportunities with our utility,” Erwert said.

Solar ‘saucer’ sets down in Wenatchee

Posted in Renewable energy, Solar on December 1st, 2008 by Susan – Be the first to comment

Marcelo da Luz

Marcelo da Luz

A meeting with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is the next goal of the driver who set a world record for distance traveled in a solar car.

Marcelo da Luz, a former flight attendant and native of Brazil, brought his saucer-shaped solar car to Wenatchee on Dec. 4, making appearances at Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee Valley College, the Performing Arts Center (photo at left) and Newbery Elementary. Students at the elementary school were fascinated with the futuristic vehicle and shouted in unison as da Luz led them in a countdown, then drove the car around the parking lot and out of sight – then returned to applause and squeals of delight.

Da Luz set the record by traveling more than 10,000 miles across Canada and the U.S. Sponsors helped him build the $1 million car and finance the trip, which started in June and ended in October. He is looking for additional sponsors to continue his journey.

He wants to meet Schwarzenegger to draw attention to renewable energy development, which the governor has supported, and to what can be achieved by “the power of one.” Da Luz’s Web site is called the Power of One, shortened to xof1.

Related links
Fill ‘er up with sunshine (Wenatchee World)

Marcela da Luz solar car

Marcelo Da Luz set the record for travel in a solar car by driving more than 10,000 miles across Canada and the U.S