2018 Summer Institute for Educators – Details


We’re getting closer to the start of the 5- day Solar Schoolhouse Summer Institute and I wanted to send a few logistical details.

Workshop Location:  7966 Mill Station Rd. Sebastopol, CA [click on link to open in google maps]
(if you’re coming north on 101, exit at Cotati and take HWY 116 to Sebastopol.  Continue through town and make left at stop light on Mill Station Rd.  We’re about 100 yds down on the right, past the Holy Ghost Hall. Look for the 2-story green-colored house.).

Timing:  Check in after 4pm on Sunday July 22nd. Dinner is at 6pm.  The evening program starts at 7pm. and we’ll go til ~ 8pm.
We’ll finish up after lunch on Friday the 27th.  Each day we’ll start at 8:30am and wrap up ~ 5pm, with evenings as options for finishing projects and for subtopic discussions.
If you get to town early on Sunday, consider visiting Farmers Market downtown Sebastopol 10-2pm.  or visiting the coast @ Bodega Bay (West on hwy 12)

Lodging Location: At Fairfield Inn in Sebastopol.  located at 1101 Gravenstein Highway South Sebastopol, California 95472.  this is ~ 2.8 miles from our location.  As we get closer, Dena will send your Hotel registration # so you can check in there before heading over to us.   We’ve already made your reservations for the week, so no need for you to worry about this.  For some of you, we’ve made reservations at local AirBnBs. (Check in with us first for access info and location of AirBnB site. For all local (Sonoma & Marin Co) folks we’re assuming commuting each day,  though you’re welcome to camp onsite no extra charge. just let us know beforehand.

Weather:  generally mild weather here in July.  not too hot, not too cold.   But bring layers eg. sweatshirt, in case there is a cool breeze or such.

CEUs:  3 CEUs are available via CalState Sacramento for taking this course.  the cost is $75.  Bring check or CC to attach to form that goes to CSUS, if this option is of interest.

Food:  All meals (except for Wednesday night) will be provided, starting with Sunday dinner and finishing up with Friday Lunch.   Wednesday evening is your opportunity to explore eating options in Sebastopol or Bodega Bay – up to you.  For those staying at the Hotel, they do offer a breakfast there that is an option. 
IF you have any special dietary requirements, please let Dena know…. dena@rahus.org  707-484-5703

Laptops:  There is wifi available here.  While this workshop will have a big dose of hands-on, some enjoy using their laptops to take notes, and develop their lesson plans for the coming school year.  This summer we will be working on some lessons collaboratively using googledocs – example- Evaluating the performance of the School Solar Array.   If you are starting to use Chromebooks or laptops in your STEAM (or STEM) class setting, then bring one so we can model this activity. 


Pre-Workshop Assignment:  In an effort to free up more time for the hands-on projects, here are a few assignments to complete before arriving. 

Before you arrive on July 22nd, please complete the following:
1. SOLAR PRIMER (SSH100) Online short course.    We’ve created an online course to introduce some of the concepts and vocabulary. https://solarschoolhouse.org/solark12/   
Go ahead and register as SOLARK12 EDUCATOR,  the discount code is “SIE2018”    Then click on SSH100 SOLAR PRIMER.   
The course is structured so that you have to start at the beginning and complete each section before moving on to the next. Please try to get through all the steps, if possible.  This is a grand experiment in trying to use online tools to compliment the hands-on portion of solar energy education.  By reviewing this content before the workshop, you’ll be better prepared as we dive into hands-on projects.  I’ve adjusted the settings on the course, so that you don’t have to get 100% correct on the quizzes to proceed, and you’ll get feedback on your answers.
Call or email me if there are any roadblocks.  [Tor@rahus.org or 707-829-3154]
Be sure to view Solar Schoolhouse video titled ‘Your Solar Home’ (25 minutes).   We use this video to introduce solar vocabulary and concepts to most grade levels. It is part of the Solar Primer Online course. 
You can skip the projects. we’ll do those here, since that’s the point of getting together. .
Be aware of any Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, Project-based Learning objectives… that you may need to incorporate into lessons introduced to your class.    Our goal is to provide you with wholistic, real, and relevant projects that will get your students excited about learning and shaping a clean energy future.

2.       View 2 short episodes of Watt Trekker series highlighting the 2013 Solar Decathlon held in Irvine, CA.  This is a series of short video episodes we filmed showing college students as they design, build, and compete in a solar home competition.  Our goal was to show the different disciplines involved in a home design/build project, and thus college and career paths.We filmed 15 episodes but I’d recommend these two for an introduction.  Plus I’ve added a link to the Tinyhouse competition video we made October 2016.

Austria episode – architecture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJbG1XNIYfs

Tiny House Competition episode – Sacramento October 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SyIO-EWLLg

Once you arrive here, you’ll receive hardcopy of Your Solar Home Student Guidebook, DVD,  and Solar Decathlon book + DVD.

One of the prime outcomes of attending the SIE is to walk away with lesson plans that fit your teaching situation, so keep this in mind as you review the materials.  Note any questions you’d like to ask when you get here.

if you’d like to browse the publications before the workshop, here are relevant links
or if easier, here is link to the complete guides in pdf format.


Bicycling:  There are a variety of bike paths around town to enjoy.  If you have a bike and have space on your car to bring it, do so.  Else, we’ll have a few bikes to borrow if interested.

Swimming:  There is a nice solar powered swimming pool in town, if swimming is part of your exercise regime.  IVES Pool.  We’ll have maps and further details to share. http://www.ivespool.org/

Walking: several paths nearby offer an opportunity to stretch and take a break.  We’ll share options when you get here.




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