Physics students create solar powered art

Science teacher Eric Muhs’ physics classes meld science and art with solar art machines

Henry Burreson, Staff Reporter
Originally published February 24, 2016

Around 100 students in science teacher Eric Muhs’ Physics classes were given a rare opportunity last week: creating solar art.

During a normal school year the past week would have been part of mid-winter break, when families may have already planned vacations. However, due to delays at the beginning of the year, last week was instead a time to explore irregular opportunities in class.

Muhs’ Physics students were given the task of creating art with the sun’s energy. They used solar panels, positive and negative wires and a small motor to power simple artistic machines. All the students needed to do then was to create kinetic art.

With three in-class work days, students vigorously crafted their masterpieces. There were no guidelines. The art was expected to stand alone, meaning that after placing it on the sunny exhibit table, it would begin to move. For one day and one day only the exhibit took place on the northern parking lot sidewalk. The goals was to get hands on learning experience with energy systems in a way that was controlled and creative.

The display was set to be on the first sunny day after Friday Feb. 19. All teachers and their classes were invited to come visit throughout the day before the students had to take down their work.