Educational Outreach and Community Involvement


In addition to pursuing exciting research opportunities, the Hillhouse Group is an active participant in the greater Seattle community. Events such as the Northwest Solar Fest and Paws-On Science Weekend hosted by the Pacific Science Center provide opportunities for group members to inform and inspire the public about energy research and science. Group members also go out to local schools as science fair judges and educators.




Recent Activities


April 2015: Paws-On-Science at Pacific Science Center

John Katahara and Wesley Williamson joined other members of the UW Clean Energy Institute for the annual Paws-On-Science weekend at Pacific Science Center. These UW researchers fielded questions from members of the Puget Sound community on topics ranging from solar cells to next-generation batteries, as well as what Washington is doing with clean energy generation. Children were able to explore some of these concepts first-hand by building and racing solar cars.


March 2015: Bryant Elementary School 4th/5th Grade Science Fair

Graduate students John Katahara, Jac Clark and undergraduate student Austin Miner volunteered their time in March for the 2015 Bryant Elementary School Science Fair. Over the course of 9 weeks, these members of the Hillhouse Group joined other researchers from UW in mentoring 4th/5th graders on basics of conducting scientific research. The science fair is an annual event.


April 2014: Paws-On-Science at Pacific Science Center

Volunteers from the Hillhouse Group went out to the Pacific Science Center at Seattle Center for a fun weekend of science education. Graduate students Ian Braly, John Katahara, and Wesley Williamson engaged children of all ages on matters related to solar energy, energy production, energy and resource conservation, as well as general scientific principles. Paws-On-Science weekend is an annual event.


July 2013: Solar Fest 2013

Several Hillhouse Group members joined other research groups from the University of Washington at Shoreline Community College for the NW Solar Fest 2013. Group members Ian Braly, Austin Minor, John Katahara, and Wesley Williamson joined other educators in teaching the public what a solar powered future could look like.


July 2012: Solar Fest 2012

Solar Fest is an annual event that brings together exhibitors, educators, and the public in a festival like environment with food, live music, and plenty of demonstrations. This year there were over 109 exhibitors at Solar Fest. The event is organized by the Shoreline Solar Project for the purpose of promoting the practical application of renewal energy and environmentally responsible practices to enhance the economic, ecological, and social environment of our community. This year Research Group members Cori Bucherl and John Katahara help teach folks about solar energy and what may be possible in the near future.