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Second-Graders Explore Solar Energy Through PYP Unit

Recently, Ms. Fessler's second-grade class took advantage of a sunny day on campus and headed outside to explore solar energy and the benefits it can have on the environment. 

Students learned how to connect cables to the positive and negative terminals on a hand-held solar panel to generate electricity. The second-graders used their device to watch a wind turbine spin, listen to a music box play and see a lightbulb light up. 

"It was such an awesome learning moment when the students realized they could create electricity," said. Ms. Fessler. 

Their adventure was part of their first unit of inquiry, Choices, in which students learn how the decisions they make can impact each other, our resources and the environment. 

"Before going outside, we learned about solar energy and then made predictions about how the solar panel will work," said Ms. Fessler. "Healthy choices for the earth include learning about solar panels, wind turbines, and water energy."

Following their outdoor activity, the second-graders read The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, the true story of a young boy in Africa who built a wind turbine that helped save his village. The illustrator was also our Lower school Writer's Guild visitor two years ago. 

"This is an impactful unit of inquiry because students realize their questions and efforts could have big effects," said Lower Ms. Fessler.