FMCC STEP Students
Participate in Solar Energy Workshop
October 2013, Fulton Montgomery
STEP at Fulton Montgomery Community College has always taken
pride in the diverse STEM programs offered at the college.
Mostly it is because our STEP students benefit from incredible
instructors and staff that teach our Saturday Academy program
which takes place right on FM’s campus. This past year
our students participated in some great hands on experiments
as well as developed some technological skills, all culminating
in making a piece of electronic equipment that they were able
to take home and actually use!
Back in October, Electrical and Computer Technology Instructor,
Jeremy Spraggs, presented to our students the various ways
we use solar energy as well as the “hows” and
“whys” of solar, thermal and photovoltaic systems.
Through hands on activities with real, mini solar panels and
meters students quantified the amount of sunlight a point
receives throughout the year. This was followed by a tour
of our nearby BOCES building to see some larger panels in
use and how they are connected to the building’s electrical
system. The students then regrouped back at the college to
discuss practical, real-life challenges to implementing a
cost-effective reliable solution like solar energy.
During the spring semester, our students teamed up with
FM’s Electronics Technician, Kyle Bonfey, to learn about
electrical schematic analysis and electronics. Students were
then given the opportunity to learn how to solder and use
that skill through careful technique to create their very
own portable USB charger for their cell phones! Needless to
say our students very much appreciated seeing, creating and
then using a real life application to the information they
were being taught.
Whether it’s taking a tour of the state of the art
Nanotechnology Clean Room, learning about renewable, green,
energy sources like solar power or building their very own
electronic devices, FMCC STEP students are never lacking interesting
and professional exposure and experiences to the STEM fields.