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FMCC STEP Students Participate in Solar Energy Workshop

October 2013, Fulton Montgomery Community College

STEP at Fulton Montgomery Community College has always taken pride in the diverse STEM programs offered at the college. Mostly it is because our STEP students benefit from incredible instructors and staff that teach our Saturday Academy program which takes place right on FM’s campus. This past year our students participated in some great hands on experiments as well as developed some technological skills, all culminating in making a piece of electronic equipment that they were able to take home and actually use!

Back in October, Electrical and Computer Technology Instructor, Jeremy Spraggs, presented to our students the various ways we use solar energy as well as the “hows” and “whys” of solar, thermal and photovoltaic systems. Through hands on activities with real, mini solar panels and meters students quantified the amount of sunlight a point receives throughout the year. This was followed by a tour of our nearby BOCES building to see some larger panels in use and how they are connected to the building’s electrical system. The students then regrouped back at the college to discuss practical, real-life challenges to implementing a cost-effective reliable solution like solar energy.

During the spring semester, our students teamed up with FM’s Electronics Technician, Kyle Bonfey, to learn about electrical schematic analysis and electronics. Students were then given the opportunity to learn how to solder and use that skill through careful technique to create their very own portable USB charger for their cell phones! Needless to say our students very much appreciated seeing, creating and then using a real life application to the information they were being taught.

Whether it’s taking a tour of the state of the art Nanotechnology Clean Room, learning about renewable, green, energy sources like solar power or building their very own electronic devices, FMCC STEP students are never lacking interesting and professional exposure and experiences to the STEM fields.

Source: Fulton Montgomery Community College STEP


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