Ten highly motivated high school students and graduates joined GRID Alternatives for a week in June to discover solar up close as interns with the Solar Futures Summer Internship program. While part of the team worked on the homeowner's roof to install solar, the students on the ground engaged in intensive field lessons to explore themes such as reading a site plan, gauging solar radiance, solar panel angle effects on power generation, applied electricity, and conduit bending. The team also canvassed with our outreach team, build solar cookers, and created a mock roof complete with mounting system and solar panels.
Sacramento High recent graduates Willie, Jordan, and Maya shared a few thoughts on their internship experience while on the job site.
Willie: "Today was fun; there was always something new to learn. I learned a lot about solar panels. I feel like this will help me in the future. I'm going (to study) aerospace engineering, and knowing how to use a solar panel will help me understand power sources and electrical systems for air and spacecraft."
Maya: "Even though I couldn't go on the roof (because I'm under 18), I actually learned a lot that I'll need for when I go to school (to study bio-engineering). I'm more hands-on, so when I go to school, I'll already have a grasp of what we're learning visually, so it will make things more smooth for me.
Jordan: "Today was cool. I liked learning about solar. The main thing I learned today is about how we use the Sun; how the different angles of the solar panels change the amount of the energy they make. This is a good opportunity for work. I'm going to Cal Poly Pomona to study engineering next year."
Willie: "You should definitely do this if you're going for an engineering career. It gives you good perspective on what it's going to be like. There's a lot of calculations and checking to be done. You get to meet people, and most of all, there's a lot of great things you can learn from this program."