The San Diego Renewable Energy Society (SDRES) has announced a new science educational program that focuses on solar power for middle school students and teachers. Junior Solar Sprint is a hands-on educational program that gives students the ability to design, build and race their own solar powered model cars. The program is currently limited to San Diego middle schools and 45 teams are participating. Awards will be given for speed, design and innovation.
“The multi-disciplinary project motivates students and illustrates how pursuing careers in the fields of science, math and engineering can be exciting and highly rewarding particularly when applied to renewable energy sources,” said Bruce Rogow, coordinator of the event for SDRES.
This is the third year for the program and is made possible by SDRES along with Sullivan Solar Power and the San Diego Electrical Training Center. Sullivan Power donated solar cell kits to power the student’s cars and the races will take place on the campus of the San Diego Electrical Training Center. The center also teaches kids about 90W rooftop solar installation.
Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Power said of their participation, “Junior Solar Sprint teaches our local youth in their formative years the potential that solar power represents for our country. It shows teens we can power our vehicles, homes and businesses with the power of the sun. The hope is to inspire these young individuals with education in solar technology but also make it something exciting in the process.”
The students love the program and local science teacher, Elaine Gillum has 137 students at Marshall Middle School in 24 teams producing solar racing cars. “Kids learn about solar energy, engineering, building and team work,” said Gillum. “All of those are very important for our students to learn. And, they learn it doing something fun! How cool is that?”
The Junior Solar Sprint race will take place on Saturday, June 9 at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of the San Diego Electrical Training Center, at 4675 Viewridge Ave., San Diego, California.