A Sunny Day for Junior Solar Sprint
Submitted by Shawn at EnergyTeachers
May 15, 2004
Fifty-five teams from eight schools enjoyed the benefits of a cloudless Saturday on a track at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Boston Area Solar Energy Association, staffed by volunteers, organized this annual race, the Junior Solar Sprint, for middle-schoolers. Multiple teams from each school registered cars that met strict regulations but showed diverse and creative ideas of engineering. All cars were powered by a standardized solar panel supplying electricity to a regular DC motor. Students created their own transmissions out of gears, chains, and pullies. Cars showed signs of thoughtful work in aerodynamics, aesthetics, payload management, and mounting the solar panel at advantageous angles.
As parents, teachers, and schoolmates cheered them on, teams and their cars competed in four categories: Craftmanship, Creativity, Technical Merit, and, of course, Performance. Medal-winners in the four categories will move on to June's race against teams from around the Northeast.
See the photo album for a view of the passion and process involved in the race of over 100 participants: