Featuring Renewable Energy during the Great American Teach-In

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Featuring Renewable Energy during the Great American Teach-In


Sebastian Sage, Addam Ben-Abdallah, Brennan Halsey, Daniil Ivannikov, and Anand Dewansingh, SPS Chapter Officers, and Sesha Srinivasan, SPS Advisor, Florida Polytechnic University


During the Great American Teach-In, a middle schooler turns a crank to create energy that lights a bulb.

Members of the Sigma Pi Sigma and SPS chapters at Florida Polytechnic University (FPU) participated in the 2023 Great American Teach-In (GATi) program hosted by the Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Florida. GATi is a fantastic event where area schools invite community members to speak to students about their jobs or experiences. 

As part of the program, the FPU SPS chapter advisor, Sesha Srinivasan—who is currently serving as the School Advisory Council representative for the academy—and Sigma Pi Sigma chapter member Sebastian Sage showcased physics and engineering outreach activities for sixth graders in the school’s science classroom. 


Sesha Srinivasan (left) and Sebastian Sage (right) demonstrate renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to students at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy. Photos courtesy of Sesha Srinivasan.

During the classroom visit, students learned the basics of renewable energy generation, storage, and conversion. After that, Professor Srinivasan showcased advanced technologies in energy storage and conversion, including thermoelectric generators, solar-powered hydrogen production through electrolysis, metal hydride canisters for hydrogen storage, and proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells converting chemical energy to electricity. Next, students tried a generator crankshaft that produces electricity from the mechanical hand motion of the user. They also explored storing wind energy generated by spinning blades in a metal hydride canister and the thermoelectric effects of converting heat to electricity and vice versa. 

For the capstone activity the pair demonstrated a hydrogen fuel cell car, showing students how clean energy sources can reduce carbon emissions to create a more sustainable future. Students were thrilled with the experience and completely enjoyed themselves during the 40-minute session.  


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