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What are the advantages of using solar energy compared to fossil fuels and why might you want to have a small portable solar charger? I am an eighth-grader at CMS. For an assignment, I designed and conducted a STREAM (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts, Math) project to investigate the answer to this question. What I found was that we could save about 358 million kilowatts per hour (kwh) of fossil fuel energy if about 80 percent of U.S. cell phone users used solar power to charge their phones. I learned that 1 kwh equals 1 pound of carbon dioxide. This means those charging phones with solar energy would stop 358 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Another thing I found was that during most months of the year, you could get energy from a solar panel. My results should be of interest to you because this is a simple and affordable way to slowly convert to renewable energy using solar power with a common item (cell phone).

Sam Adkins

Melissa Turtinen is the community editor for Lakeshore Weekly News and Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.