Alexandria, Kentucky – Solar Celebration

Campbell Ridge Elementary School in Alexandria, Kentucky, held a Solar Celebration May 18, 2006. It was a full day of festival-like atmosphere while fourth-grade students taught lower grades about energy from the sun using songs, games, solar demonstrations and science experiments.


It all began when fourth grade teachers Dena Gosney and Stacie Levey attended a day of training given by the Kentucky NEED (National Energy Education Development) Project in partnership with Owen Electric’s EnviroWatts program.


The fourth grade teachers spent two weeks guiding their students as they learned the NEED solar activities. On the day of the celebration, the fourth grade students were responsible for teaching the second and third graders using the hands-on activities supplied in the NEED kit. The 103 fourth graders kept busy with over 100 second-graders participating in the morning and over 90 third graders participating during the afternoon session.

“The event was fabulous,” said Gosney. ‘Kids teaching kids,’ [the NEED motto] seems to be a way kids learn best. The students really did well and we got lots of positive responses from other teachers.”

Student hospitality guides Jordan (on left) and Christina escorted visitors around the school to the five solar activity stations:
1. Radiometers, solar ovens, solar balloons
2. Solar songs and dances (written and choreographed by the students)
3. Solar games (created and designed up by the students)
4. Videos on solar energy
5. Solar bead bracelets, photos using solar sensitive paper, thermometer experiments

In one of the photos:
Morgan (on left) holds a solar fan that cools off the Energy House made out of a shoebox.

Outdoor solar lessons had students floating giant solar balloons, baking cookies in solar ovens and making bracelets out of solar beads. In this picture students huddle around to take “photos” of their hands using light-sensitive paper. Inside students did solar dances with hand motions and lyrics written by the students. In another class the students played solar games with game boards designed and created by the students.

In the middle of the day, a special ribbon-cutting ceremony took place to celebrate the 500 watt solar panel installed at the school. The funding for the PV panel came from Owen Electric’s EnviroWatts, a program that offers customers a renewable energy alternative.

It was a full day of Solar Celebration “The students are still talking about it,” says teacher Dena Gosney. “The lower grade students are excited about being fourth graders so they can do it, too!”

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