Area young people are teaching the community about energy independence

The Solar Energy Club has tips to save money

BAKERSFIELD - Energy independence is a topic often talked about on the campaign trail and it’s even become a popular discussion in many classrooms.  Students from Sierra Middle School are teaching people around the community a lesson that could help us save more money.

"I never knew that just a box like that with some reflectors can bake anything," said Daniel Zamora, who is demonstrating what you can do with solar energy.

"Basically, we do a lot of, like for example, the solar ovens.  We could take almost anything in the solar oven," said Zamoa.

Zamora and his classmates are using light energy from the sun, turning it into heat and using it to bake cookies.

"The reflectors are collecting sunlight into the black box and its got glass that will hold the heat so, black absorbs, the light turns to heat and the glass holds the heat in and will generate basically heat that we'll be able to cook things," said Bob Hodash, teacher with Sierra Middle School.

The students are members of the solar energy club at the school.  The organization has been around for about eight years.  Students meet after class regularly and experiment on a number of projects.

"Basically, if you can make it in a regular oven, you can make it in these.  The nice thing it's free.  There's no electricity, no gas necessary.  We're using the power of the sun," he said.

Many of the children are taking that knowledge and using it at home.  They’re also showing people in the community that using solar energy is easy and can definitely pay off in the end.

"We're educating kids about the future and we're trying to get them to learn to be leaders and pull on the information they learn at the club and our school the community at large," said Hodash.

Sierra Middle School is a California solar school and the club is funded through grants from PG&E, Arco Gas and the National Energy Education Project.

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