Watts Up?

SERC docents

2005-2006 docents (left to right) Eric Zielke, David Kang, Colin Ritter, Melissa Caldwell, and Kevin Fancher. (Photo Credit SERC)

What’s the difference between energy and power? What’s a “Watt?” These are some of the questions students explored during SERC’s “Got Energy?” workshops at the annual Redwood Environmental Education Fair (REEF).

Each spring, elementary and middle school students throughout Humboldt County converge for two days to learn about environmental education. SERC has participated in this event since 2001. Workshop attendees played “Watts Up?”, an interactive game that motivates students to explore the difference between energy and power and inspires them to think about the use of energy in their lives. Workshops culminated with a solar electric circuit activity that challenged students to discover how to sound a solar powered buzzer. Students were excited about this activity; many of them asked how to get their own solar panels and buzzers in order to pursue solar energy and power at home.

Over 170 students discovered the power of renewable energy and energy efficiency during SERC’s REEF workshops. In total, our outreach program reached over 1700 students this past year. We look forward to another successful year of outreach when our program resumes in the fall.

A Word From… Eric Zielke
“I want to thank SERC and HSU’s Renewable Energy Student Union (RESU) for initiating the docent program in the Spring of 2004. This program allows HSU students to gain real world renewable energy experience. I am honored to support SERC through my participation as a docent. I believe that one of the most important aspects of renewable energy applications is the ability to teach people not only the intricacies of how particular renewable energy systems work, but also how renewable energy applications can further our nation’s progress toward decreasing its dependence on foreign oil.”


About Allison Hansberry

As Operations Manager for the Schatz Center, Allison is responsible for program administration. Her work includes planning, analyzing, and evaluating the Center's fiscal and operational policies and procedures and providing assistance with and leadership in pre-and-post award grant and contract management. Allison also oversees the Center's education and outreach program and works with the Outreach Coordinator to develop renewable energy programs. Allison graduated from Humboldt State University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, Botany minor. Her degree combines the disciplines of Environmental Science, Appropriate Technology, and Sustainable Agriculture. When not engaged in work and raising a family, she pursues her interest in native bees, plant/pollinator interactions, and climate change impacts on phenology. Allison joined SERC in 2001.