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Junior Solar Sprint

The 2015 Junior Solar Sprint will be held at the Florida Solar Energy Center, May 2, 2015.

The Statewide Junior Solar Sprint competition is traditionally held in early May as part of the EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Upper elementary and middle school students (grades 4-8) are invited to design, build and race Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) cars. The small model cars — powered entirely by solar energy and steered by wires — are built as team efforts guided by teachers.

Florida coordinators of the Junior Solar Sprint offer students several opportunities to demonstrate the performance of their vehicles. At each event cars are judged on technology, craftsmanship and appearance. Each car then competes in the track portion of the event. Vehicles race until three winning teams in each category are determined.

Photo of middle school kids with their energy innovation.
To view photos of the 2014 Jr. Solar Sprint, visit our online photo gallery.

 

Register... and Join In The Fun!

The Junior Solar Sprint is open to all Florida students in grades 4-8. Race teams are to be made up of two to four students with at least one teacher/mentor. The Junior Solar Sprint is held at the Florida Solar Energy Center. To pre-register, fill out the online registration form.

Why get involved?

Transportation in the United States is expected to change radically in response to environmental constraints, fluctuating oil availability and economic factors. The transportation systems that emerge in the 21st century will be defined largely by the choices, skills and imagination of today's youth. As scientists and engineers, they will develop new vehicle and fuel technologies. As citizens, they will make decisions balancing mobility, environmental and economic needs.

Junior Solar Sprint challenges students to use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork to design and build high-performance solar electric vehicles. Students learn by doing.

Archive

To view photos of the 2014 Junior Solar Sprint, visit our online photo gallery.

To see past winners, visit the Winners' Circle listed below.

Resources

Solar Car kits can be purchased from Solar Made or Pitsco.

The regulation kit includes: 3V photovoltaic panel and an electric motor that is paired to the panel.

Additional information on the Florida Regional Junior Solar Sprint:

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), will serve as the technical advisors and race consultants for the Junior Solar Sprint event. Linda Lung, of National Renewable Energy Laboratory at 1-800-NEWENGY, is the National Coordinator. Support materials are available on NREL's Junior Solar Sprint page.

A video describing the Junior Solar Sprint program which includes footage of actual races and students discussing the design and construction of their vehicles can be viewed here or is available in DVD format from FSEC for $5. For information, click here to contact Penny Hall or call 321-638-1018.

Teacher resources

The Florida Solar Energy Center will serve as the Junior Solar Sprint school contact and provide technical assistance and free teacher materials.