Sometime at the end of this year or the beginning of next, Old Colony's new Community Center will open its doors and turn on its lights for all of us. By then, you will be able to look at its roof and see something else to celebrate. There will be solar panels to help provide the building with safe, renewable energy. These solar panels will use photovoltaic cells to change sunlight into electricity that will help power the building.
So here's the question for this first round of Mr. Brawer's Contest:
HOW DO PHOTOVOLTAIC CELLS WORK TO PRODUCE ELECTRICITY?
Mr. Brawer is CONVINCED that if we really try, we can understand how this 21st technology works. Let's prove him right. After all, we have a whole school of people who know what Evacuation Day is, even though most people in Boston don't!
So let's tackle this problem and learn some important high school science. Another thing our kids know is that the way you learn is to wonder and guess, ask questions and look for information to answer them.
Here's a good starting question for you: What comes out of sunlight? Mr. Brawer mentioned something about photons. Also, that we have Albert Einstein to thank for figuring out how they work. We can't ask Mr. Einstein. Unfortunately he died in 1955.
But if you have any ideas about this, send them in to: firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, ANYBODY can help us work on this problem--kids, parents, construction workers on the site, our readers from around the world, anyone. If you know the answer--GREAT! Even a guess or a partial explanation is fine. We can work together and build bits of information together until we get the answer!
Remember the email address is email@example.com. He's waiting for you!