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Solar Classroom Featured in Article by Wilcox ’21, Lark


An article about the renovation of Hamilton’s solar classroom, co-authored by Eileen Wilcox ’21 and Assistant Professor of Instruction in Physics Adam Lark, was published in the Winter 2022 issue of The SPS Observer, the magazine of the Society of Physics Students.

Magic Flickers in the Darkness” describes how the space, once resembling “an overstuffed storage unit,” was converted “into a museum and art installation,” with glow-in-the-dark constellations painted on the walls.

Located on Peters Lane on the grounds of Hamilton’s C.H.F. Peters Astronomical Observatory, the classroom was refurbished by Wilcox and Lark, who said that making the space beautiful was not their only goal.

“The room was designed to inspire,” they wrote. “To marry art and science in their shared goal of revealing the complexity of the universe and one’s small place in it. To divorce the human experience from clutter and to view the world with clarity.

Hamilton SPS members have hosted several events at the observatory and classroom, inviting members of the Hamilton community to see the stars and view the solar classroom.

“It is impossible to know what might inspire or direct a student’s life, but bringing physics into the realm of approachable curiosity may open minds to what is possible with science,” Wilcox and Lark said.

Wilcox is taking a gap year before starting graduate studies in physics at the University of Virginia. Lark reports that in the meantime, among other things, she has had a job building solar heated cob houses in the Azores and is currently working in Alabama doing regenerative farming.

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