HMC Physics Colloquium

Tuesdays at 16:30 in Shanahan Center for Teaching and Learning, Room B460

Peter Saeta

Harvey Mudd College

Physics and Engineering in the Village

Sept. 7, 2010

Are you tired of having your work appreciated? Does it embarrass you when people celebrate your achievements by cheering, singing, and dancing? Yes? Well, then I don’t recommend working on a water and solar-power project in Africa. Engineering students Rob Best (’10), Isabel Bush, Evann Gonzales, Ozzie Gooen (all ’12) and I spent 6 weeks installing photovoltaic panels, a solar-powered water pump, and classroom lighting at the Clay International Secondary School in Ngomano, Kenya. Along the way, we gained new insights into Newtonian gravity, off-grid electrical systems, the challenges of getting things built without the HMC machinist, and how “technology divorced from humanity is worse than no technology at all.”