The summer before eighth grade, I participated in a Maryland Department of Education program called Living Off the Land. The two-week course taught various wilderness survival techniques and culminated in a three-day solo adventure. The most important lesson was how to build a solar still, a device that converts dirty, algae-clouded stream water into something more Poland Springs-like. I didn’t pay close attention to the demonstration and ended up quite dehydrated by the end of the trip. And it’s too bad I hadn’t attended National Renewable Energy Laboratory staffer Linda Lung’s workshop, Make a Solar Car!, which shows youngsters how to convert the sun’s rays into electricity to power a model car. Then I could have harnessed natural energy for a vehicle that could have driven me and my fellow berry-eating campers to the Pizza Hut 15 miles down the road. At 10 a.m. in Room 3038-9 at the Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $79. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Elissa Silverman)