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Solar energy projects spark learning at Sutter Middle School in Folsom

By: Laura Newell, Telegraph staff writer
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FOLSOM, CA - Some of Folsom’s sixth-grade students learned about solar last week at “Solar Day 2012.” Sutter Middle School in Folsom received a Bright Ideas Grant from PG&E to put on a “Solar Day 2012” for their sixth-grade class on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The day aligned with the State Science Standards, said Stephen Nichols, district public information and community relations officer. Students cooked nachos in solar cookers they individually created with shoe boxes, cellophane and aluminum foil, said Sutter Middle School teacher Christina Gerads. Students also raced solar cars they built and made solar UV bead jewelry tested with sunscreen. Students said this was a fun hands-on lesson they could complete during their advisory class. “We learned how we can use the sun to generate solar energy instead of using electricity,” said Taylor Sorensen, 11. Kylee Long, 11, said her favorite part of the day was making the nachos with her friends. “Making the ovens was the hardest part of the project, but it is fun to make the nachos,” said Molly Wilson, 11.