Black Rock Solar field trip to study solar, culture

What do you get when you combine shining sun, wide open Nevada lands and enthusiastic 12-year-olds? Only the best classroom ever!


About 50 students from Hunter Lake Elementary School made the 40-minute trip from Reno to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum on the shores of Pyramid Lake last week to learn about renewable energy and Native American history. With hands-on solar projects outside and a learning scavenger hunt for information inside the museum, one happy student exclaimed, “I wish every day at school could be like this!”


Education Program Manager Catherine Leon takes students on a journey from atoms to energy.

This amazing learning experience comes from the innovative curriculum BRS Education Manager Catherine Leon has developed.

“At Black Rock Solar, we believe it’s important to prepare future generations in terms of renewable energy, climate change and reducing the use of fossil fuels,” Leon said. “By the looks of it, these savvy students will be making us proud!

“The kids had so much fun powering water pumps, buzzers and LED lights with solar modules,” said Leon. “At the same time, they were actively learning by investigating, experimenting and making solar energy work for them. It was fantastic how the students even made diagrams of their solar module connections.”

In addition to becoming renewable energy experts, the kids got to hear about the history of the Pyramid Lake area from museum storyteller Ralph Burns.

“It’s important for children to understand their connection to the past and their role in the future,” said Burns. “Learning the history of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and seeing our commitment to the future through renewable energy, can help broaden and enrich the students’ connection to this beautiful, culturally rich area.”

Celeste Tinajero

Celeste Tinajero

Joining the Black Rock Solar team on the field trip was Celeste Tinajero, our new education intern.

“The trip to the Pyramid Lake Museum was a blast,” said Tinajero. “What excited me the most was when Catherine would ask questions like, ‘What makes electricity?’or ‘What makes an atom?’ and the kids are throwing arms up in the air to be the one to answer. It was so rewarding to see how much they learned by the end of Catherine’s lesson and actually doing a hands-on activity. Black Rock Solar is doing an unbelievable job in educating the youth in our community and making it such a valuable experience at the same time.”

Thanks, Celeste! And thanks to all the super-awesome students from Hunter Lake Elementary for making this field trip amazing!

If you have a group interested in organizing a field trip or program to learn more about solar, contact Catherine Leon at 775-BE-SUNNY or


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