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April 5, 2014

Step Back in Time: April 5, 2014

50 years agoApril 5, 1964

DAVENPORT — Eight high school students at Charlotte Valley Central School recently spent two weeks piecing together a variety of materials during science class. The result was a solar collector.

And it worked better than expected.

“This just was some wood, some tin, some plexiglass, and there it was,” said Paul Van Pelt, a junior. Students had expected the passive solar heater to raise temperatures 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but results were better than projected, he said.

The best result was when the temperature outside registered about 32 degrees, said Cheryl Boise, high school science teacher. Within five minutes, air in the collector was coming out at 125 degrees, she said.

“They were very impressed with how much temperature changed,” said Boise. “They were really sold on the idea of solar heat.”

The project was funded by a $145 grant from New York State Gas & Electric. NYSEG officials were expected to visit the class this week to see the solar collector.

The Charlotte Valley students were enrolled in “unified science” class, a new course in the state curriculum emphasizing topics that relate to students’ lives, said Boise. Students have studied acid rain and alternative energy sources, among other topics, in the year-long course, she said.

Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

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