PSU Immersive Internship Program Offers Hands-On & In-Class Solar Training

by Zoha Memari                           
Renewable Energy Program Coordinator
Penn State University

Andy Mackey of UMC Solar teaches internship program students how to install solar panels on the sloped roof of training facility.

Andy Mackey of UMC Solar teaches internship program students how to install solar panels on the sloped roof of training facility.

The Penn State University Northern Mid-Atlantic Solar Education and Resource Center (NMASERC) just completed offering the Immersive Leadership Experience Internship program in conjunction with the GridSTAR Center at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The 12-week program included a solar PV design and construction course component led by Matt Fedorko of PSU and Kevin Wright of UMC Solar.

Kevin Wright of UMC Solar assists one of the students in mounting the panel onto the racking system correctly.

Kevin Wright of UMC Solar assists one of the students in mounting the panel onto the racking system correctly.

A goal of this summer session was to evaluate a new set of hands-on labs at the new facility.  Kevin Wright and Andy Mackey of UMC Solar helped to update lesson plans, activities, and evaluate all of the systems at the training center to ensure safety, code compliance, and alignment with lessons.

PSU students benefited from both in-class and hands-on experiences during their internship program. A total of 16 students, from engineering, business and marketing majors, participated in the internship program.

Also during the last couple of months, Matt Fedorko of the NMASERC and Andy Davidson of Unirac, Inc., a valued partner of the team, continued development of a training class for building and structural code officials.

Students benefited from both in-class and hands-on experiences during their internship program.

Students benefited from both in-class and hands-on experiences during their internship program.

The team has been working hard preparing for a one-day Solar and Energy Storage Education Symposium at the Solar/GridSTAR training facility at the Navy Yard, being held in September. This exciting event will bring together solar and energy storage college-level educators in the region for discussion-based round-tables to share resources, best practices, and experiences across all levels of education. Some of the NMASERC participating instructor trainees have registered and will be attending.

During the upcoming few months, the team hopes to continue making the training facility at the Navy Yard available to folks who want to use it a valuable training space and conduct courses/workshops. The team will also be continuing to provide the mobile training units to participating instructors as needed for their Solar programming.

Images: courtesy of Pennsylvania State University

 

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