The Challenge seminar group has met four times so far this year, once per month since September. Learning about alternative energy sources is this year’s focus, and we began the year with solar. Our first seminar included the following activities: researching solar energy and playing “jeopardy” with the facts; building sunlight boxes to observe refraction, which is being used to light houses in developing countries; and, creating pinhole cameras, which are on the roof of Central Office, catching the sun’s movement over the next several months.
The October seminar included a trip to the Kenyon Farm and to the home of Dave Heithaus, to observe solar panels in action. Mr. Jerry Kelly explained the farm’s use of solar power, the monitoring system, and answered questions. Mr. Heithaus graciously did the same when we visited his home.
In November, we moved on to wind power, looking at the use of wind turbines, and the advantages/disadvantages of this type of energy. The trip in December was to Byers Subaru in Columbus, to see a turbine up close (including a step inside), and to learn about the equipment used to monitor the energy generation. Mr. Bob Gaunt was our host for the visit, which concluded with a balloon launch. The balloon carries a message with information about our visit. We are hoping that someone FAR away finds our balloon, and lets us know how far it traveled on the currents.