CCUSD teacher Moran inspires students with solar experiences

Since participating in the five-week Summer Research Experience for Teachers, a Cave Creek Unified School District teacher shares what she learned with students.

CCUSD’s Gifted Creative Inquiry Program teacher Leah Moran decided to continue the project because of her passion to introduce Arizona students to solar energy, according to a press release.

“We are grateful to have Leah leading our Gifted Creative Inquiry class. She continuously seeks out new professional development in S.T.E.M fields and is eager to bring what she’s learned back to the classroom. Because of her, students get to learn firsthand about real-world issues and technology such as solar energy and renewable/non-renewable resources,” said CCUSD’s Director of Academic Services and Assessments Tom Espy in a prepared statement.

“Leah Moran is a quality educator who models life-long learning, creativity and problem-based thinking. CCUSD students in her program are experiencing amazing learning opportunities,” said Dr. Debbi Burdick, superintendent, in a prepared statement.

Ms. Moran and other teachers from the Summer Research Experience have toured to present their work, the release said. Recently, she helped present at the Arizona Student Energy Conference at the Biosphere in Tucson, held for graduate and Ph.D. students in the energy field.

“They all loved coming to our poster and talking about what we are doing to teach kids about solar. I learned what they want their future colleagues to know and I also enlightened them with the value of going to schools for outreach activities,” Ms. Moran said in a prepared statement.

The research group will host a Solar 101 professional development for teachers this month and Ms. Moran is applying to present at the upcoming AZ Gifted Conference.
Her students, according to the release, enjoyed incorporating solar into their projects as fourth-grade students made solar-powered homes wired with LED lights created exactly to scale.

“Solar Homes” is the Project Based Learning unit she developed last summer, the release noted. She has also had students make solar powered carnival rides and cars.
“Luckily we have lots of sunlight in Arizona,” she added

CCUSD’s Gifted Creative Inquire Program, available to students in grades 3-8, is held at Sonoran Trails Middle School.

For information, contact Tom Espy at

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