Our community has given so much to all of us at Standard Solar, so one of our greatest joys is returning the favor in any way we can. So when Carroll Community College invited Jay Smith, one of our valued project engineers, to speak to its Think Like an Engineer camp, he jumped at the chance.

Think Like an Engineer is a camp for ages 12 to 15, where the kids work on a different project each day that compels them to think like an engineer.

Cassandra Casey, who, among other things, coordinates the Summer! Kids@Carroll+Teen College at Carroll Community College, said campers participate in activities including designing a roller coaster, launching a rocket, building a trebuchet or catapult that will throw a marshmallow, building a circuit to power a radio and creating objects using a 3-D printer.

To enhance the camp experience, engineers like Jay visit to help with these and other engineering challenges throughout the week.

“We reached out to Standard Solar because we knew them from their work installing a solar field at the location of our camps here at the College,” Casey, Coordinator of Lifelong Learning, Summer! Kids@Carroll + Teen College says. “Renewable energy has been a hot topic in recent years, and we have tried to find the best ways to include it. We thought it was the perfect opportunity for kids to see and hear first-hand about a current project in their community.”

Jay took the kids to the solar array, explained how it worked and what it took to engineer it. And he must have done something right (we knew he would) because Casey said the kids absolutely loved his presentation.

“The kids were very interested in the project and motivated to learn more,” Casey said. “We send surveys to our campers and received reviews like ‘great fun’ and ‘coming back next year.’ That’s the kind of response we like to see.”

“It’s humbling to see how much those kids want to learn more about what I’m privileged enough to do every day,” Jay says. “I had a great time—I hope they invite me back next year.”

Well, if solar remains one of the hottest topics in the country, Jay, we’re pretty sure you’ll get your chance to inspire next year’s campers the way you did this year’s.