This 1940s Solar House Powered Innovation and Women in STEM #MakerEducation


Great new piece from SmithsonianMag on Maria Telkes and her work on Solar Technology in the 1940s.

Maria Telkes, born on this day in 1900, really believed in the power of the sun to change human lives. Nowhere is that belief more clearly expressed than in the story of the Dover House.

Telkes, who was originally from Budapest, had been working as a biophysicist and engineer in the United States since emigrating from Hungary in 1925. In 1940, she joined the Massachussetts Institute of Technology’s Solar Energy Conversation Project. “Her involvement with this project would put her on a fifty-year path to developing innovative new processes for capturing and deploying solar energy,” writes Lemelson-MIT. During this time, she started working on the Dover House project, which intended to create a house entirely heated by solar power.

In the late 1940s, writes Morgan Sherburne for MIT Technology Review, scientists were already worrying about running out of fuel. Solar fuel, that unending source of energy, seemed like it might be the way to get around this issue. Telkes and architect Eleanor Raymond, funded by Boston sculptor and conservationist Amelia Peabody, designed what one publication referred to as “the house of the day after tomorrow” to help imagine how a solar future would work. Notably, the three people most responsible for the house were women who were each successful in their field, garnering comment from press, Sherburne writes.

Read more.

Adafruit_Learning_SystemEach Tuesday is EducationTuesday here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts about educators and all things STEM. Adafruit supports our educators and loves to spread the good word about educational STEM innovations!

Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Fewer startups, and other collateral damage from the 2018 tariffs

Wearables — Battery wash cycle

Electronics — How to make your own magnetic field probe!

Biohacking — The State of DNA Analysis in Three Mindmaps

Python for Microcontrollers — One year of CircuitPython weeklies!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

1 Comment

  1. Definitely ahead of her time. There is a simplified version of this idea available commercially (search transpired solar collector for the details). We’ve been using systems like this in our industrial buildings for about ten years now. Works great and except in the dead of winter it costs virtually nothing (in dollars or carbon footprint) to heat and cool close to 100,000 sf of manufacturing space.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.