Submitted by Gerry Bernstein

Dawn Davis & Brian Cervantes at SunShot Summit
L-R: Dawn Davis, Brian Cervantes

The California-Hawaii Region of the SITN program has more than 25 participating community colleges and has provided training to over 220 college and high school faculty since the program’s inception. These individuals, in turn, have trained thousands of students. The SITN program as a whole has provided training to approximately 20,000 individuals.

To highlight some of the skills imparted to students in one representative college program, SITN’s Region 8 (California and Hawaii) team arranged for an example installation on a mock roof during the SunShot Solar Summit in Anaheim on May 20 and 21 as part of the Technology Forum. The photovoltaic students of instructor Stuart Cooley of Santa Monica College volunteered to build a new mock roof (their existing one had become a bit worn), and to demonstrate safety procedures and installation techniques for a typical residential rooftop PV system.

According to the instructor, Stuart Cooley, “The students had a great time with this project and got double benefit from it. Construction of the roof reinforced their understanding of roof structure, while honing their skills to explain each step of the installation process forced them to fully understand the ‘why’ of each action.”

L-R: Geoff Harjo, Dawn Davis, Mike Caviedes Image: Gerald Bernstein CA/HI RTP

One participating student, Dawn Davis, found the Technology Forum fun and challenging. “I was amazed by the number of people that stopped by and asked questions about the installation process. I thought everyone in the PV industry was familiar with these procedures.”

Meanwhile, her fellow student, Brian Cervantes, appreciated the opportunity to see what types of research were being conducted by viewing the poster displays while they were not installing or uninstalling their PV installation. “I can’t say that I understood them all, but the diversity of PV research is truly awesome.”

As their instructor Stuart Cooley observed, “The students that attended the Summit now see that they play an integral part in the much larger enterprise of converting society to a clean solar future.”