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Research Experience for Teachers educators learn about solar energy

February 17, 2014 - By Kim Delker

Educators from around the state who are part of the Research Experience for Teachers initiative got an up-close look at the ASUNM Solar Decathlon house Saturday, Feb. 15 that is currently located at Mesa del Sol.

Teachers learned about the house, known as the SHADE (Solar Homes Adapting for Desert Equilibrium) house, from Olga Lavrova, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and faculty advisor to Team ASUNM. In addition, teachers toured the PNM facility at the location. The PNM site is the first solar storage installation in the country to be fully integrated with a utility's smart grid. The teachers also visited the UNM Center for High Technology Materials, where they gave presentations on the status of their projects as part of the grant.

The project is part of a $500,000, three-year National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers grant, which began last summer. Principal investigator on the grant is Chuck Fleddermann, School of Engineering associate dean for academics and professor of electrical and computer engineering. Co-PI is Vanessa Svihla, an assistant professor of education.

Teachers from Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Gallup, Fort Wingate, and Albuquerque are a part of the program.

The goal of Research Experience for Teachers is to offer support for elementary through high school teachers so they can better prepare their students.