The students in
Dan Spear’s, Nathaniel Blauss’s and Bob Brigham’s physics classes are putting
the final touches on their display posters in preparation for the third annual
Physics Energy Poster Fair, to be
held in the Great Room of Berkshire Hall on Monday night, Jan 31st.
Teams of two or three students work together to research a particular energy
source, investigating either the technology associated with making the energy available
or the current and future uses of the energy source. The students then use the fruits of their research
to construct an eye-catching and informative poster to display at the Fair.
The Fair was originally conceived of as a natural outgrowth
of Berkshire’s focus on energy use and conservation , and sustainability. As citizens of their
towns, our students will eventually be asked to make decisions about how power
that they are using should be generated.
The Fair is designed to help students go beyond headlines and buzz
words, like “No Nukes” and “ Go Green”, to try to understand what is involved,
for example, in making electricity
at a nuclear-powered facility or what the advantages or limitations might be to
expanding the use of wind power or what is involved in constructing a solar
electric facility. The Fair then
challenges students to be creative in their presentations and prepared to
explain and elaborate on their work in one-on-one conversations with their
peers and adults.
Some of the students in Nathaniel Blauss’s F period class
voiced their thoughts on the Fair and on what they had learned in preparing for
it. The team of Caroline Wood, Roya Daemi and Bella Sinsigalli, finalizing the
layout of the visuals for their poster, noted that they had learned quite a bit
about the applications of geothermal energy. “ I was surprised to find that geothermal energy comprises 8 – 10% of the energy
used in some places in the world – I didn’t know it was used so much” said
Wood. Added Sinsigalli “ I didn’t
realize how deep into the earth you had to go to get geothermal energy, or how
expensive it is.” Meanwhile, across the room the geothermal technology group of Corey Wisnowski, Chloe
Lerman and Scott McLinden were applying glitter glue to the letters destined to
adorn their poster. When asked
what they had enjoyed most about the project, the team agreed; “ Putting the poster together”.
In its first
two years, the Fair has attracted a large audience of students, faculty and
faculty children to tour the displays and ask questions of the posters’
authors. This year, there will be a small addition to the audience; the third formers in the Energy Investigations
class will be interviewing some of their peers about their work, as a part of
their current unit on aspects of chemical energy .