CEI News

Early Engineers Build Solar Panels at the CEI

On July 29 and 30, the CEI hosted eight high school students participating in the UW Early Engineering Institute. CEI Fellow Dane DeQuilettes, along with undergraduates Jasmine Beverly and Tony Hall led the students through a new CEI outreach activity. Students began by exploring a wide assortment of solar cells measure voltage and amperage and power under different conditions. From this constructed an understanding of series and parallel circuits.

Each student was given a packet of solar cells and soldering materials. They designed a small solar panel following the engineering design cycle, assembling a prototype, debugging and finally encasing them in plastic. They learned how to solder, and how to work with delicate silicon cells, and finally produced working mini-solar panels.

Besides the STEM skills they used in activity they developed “grit”– they stuck with the problem, worked through setbacks, and persisted to complete a project of which they could be rightfully proud.

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solar motor resized

“Providing clean energy to the inhabitants of our planet is a major challenge to future generations. The University of Washington is to be congratulated for establishing an Institute where faculty and students can work together to tackle the difficult global challenge of energy sustainability.”
– Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Emerita and Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Energy competition is opening up in a variety of ways, the push for carbon control will continue, and the rate of technology advancement is exponential. All the things I’ve seen at the CEI are just perfect for the way we see things going in energy. You guys are at the cutting edge. We’re counting on you.”
– Ronald Litzinger, President, Edison Energy
Since its founding the Clean Energy Institute has contributed more than $1.1 million toward the education of 66 STEM scholars and recruitment of 12 students through our fellowship programs.