Garrett participated for the first time in the third annual Arizona American Indian Science and Engineering Fair (AISEF). He made a solar powered heater out of aluminum cans and a car radiator from an old Pontiac, which he found at a junkyard. He says his mother and his science teachers influenced him the most by discussing the importance of an education as well as encouraging him to construct things. “What I enjoyed most about the project is that I got to build the entire thing myself. I also liked collecting the data and seeing that the heater actually worked. The results really took me by surprise,” says Garrett.
Was Garrett’s project a science project? An engineering project? An invention? Actually his project is all of these things. It could have been entered as an earth science project because it is about solar power. It certainly fits with being part of any invention competition. Garrett chose to enter it as an engineering project because of its applications to benefit his community.
Garrett’s desctribes the application of his project: “My project is about using the sun’s light ray (shani diin – Navajo for sun) energy to heat air and water,” says Garrett. “My project can help save people money because other forms of energy are getting expensive these days.” Garrett adds that his invention can help a number of people living in his community. “Since there are a lot of homes here on the Navajo Reservation without running water or electricity, my homemade heater can help them heat well water and also their home.”
Garrett was selected to participate in Discovery Channel’s national Science Challenge Event. “I believe that my project and I will do well because my project helps the environment, it is cost efficient and can be used by just about anyone who wants to use alternative energy,” says Garrett.
Not everyone will be using old radiators and soda cans to heat water and air in their home. But, hopefully Garrett’s project will encourage other to do more research in using solar power.
Using solar power is a good way to make every day a Green Day.
Other Solar Power Science Fair Projects