American Experience: “The Sun Queen”

Tuesday, April 4 at 8 p.m.

In celebration of Earth Month, we are excited to announce that we will be streaming Amanda Pollak’s documentary about the life and work of Mária Telkes, a pioneering chemical engineer who designed the world’s first solar-heated home in 1948. Through this powerful film, we are reminded of the importance of sustainable energy and the need to protect our planet.

Many people are intrigued by the sun’s mystique and its ability to provide light and heat to the Earth from more than 90 million miles away. They may read books or take a class; however, there are scientists like Mária Telkes who devote their entire lives to working on solar energy technologies.

American Experience is presenting The Sun Queen. It focuses on the work and Inventions of biophysicist Mária Telkes. For nearly 50 years, she applied her intellect to “harnessing the sun’s power” and creating
practical uses for solar energy. During World War II, she developed a solar distillation device that saved the lives of downed airmen and torpedoed sailors. She designed the first successful solar powered house in 1949 and held more than 20 patents. Nicknamed The Sun Queen by her colleagues, she made a lasting impact in the field of solar technologies. “It is the things supposed to be impossible that interest me. I like to do things that they say cannot be done,” she said.

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