Engineering camp takes on green theme with solar tracker, green roof

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Engineering camp takes on green theme with solar tracker, green roof

The Summer Engineering Experience June 25-29 at Fresno State will focus on green technologies with 40 high school students participating.

The camp, presented by the Lyles College of Engineering, runs 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily in the Engineering East Building.

A record number of applicants vied for a slots this year, reports Nell Papavasiliou, a professor in the computer and electrical engineering department and camp director.

Participants are primarily from Fresno and Clovis schools but also from as far as Washington state. They will participate in hands on engineering and construction management projects to better understand what an engineering or construction management profession entails.

On Monday, Kirsten Cabanas-Holmen, process performance manager for Hanwha Solar America Advanced Research and Development Laboratory in Santa Clara, will deliver the keynote address.

Camp activities include constructing and programming a solar tracker, which is a microprocessor-controlled solar cell that is mounted on a servo motor.

“Using light detecting resistors to sense the amount of light on the solar cell, the servo motor will move the solar cell to the optimal position for the greatest amount of light,” Papavasiliou said.

The students also will be constructing a birdhouse green roof, which involves creating a medium from soil, coconut fibers, chicken wire and other natural materials.

“This planting structure will then be attached to the roof of the birdhouse and populated with a variety of drought resistant plants,” Papavasiliou said. “Green roofs are used in construction to provide natural cooling to a building.”

On Thursday, June 28, the students will visit the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Student and industry panels will be held on Friday, June 29, prior to closing ceremonies at 4 p.m.

Seven Fresno State students, who have been trained for all the hands-on activities, will act as mentors to the high school students and will assist them throughout the week.

In addition, they will share with the high school students their experiences as students in the engineering and construction management fields.

For more information, contact Papavasiliou or Dr. Maria Sánchez, mechanical engineering professor, at 559.278.2500 or visit online: LCOE Summer Engineering Experience Camp

(University Communications news assistant Samantha Gibson contributed to this copy.)

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