Delaware students compete in 2013 Junior Solar Sprint; Students designed, built and raced model cars powered by solar energy

DOVER (May 17, 2013) – With the roar of full-sized NASCAR racers in the background, more than 80 middle and junior high school students from 10 schools participated in Delaware’s 19th Annual Junior Solar Sprint Competition on Wednesday, May 15 near the Monster Monument at Dover International Speedway. DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate organized the event to educate students about renewable energy and the environment through a creative and exciting competition.Junior Solar Sprint winning design team from Caravel Academy near Bear

Students designed and built model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells and competed for trophies and the honor of having the fastest and best-designed cars in the state.

This year, the checkered flag went to Beacon Middle School in Lewes for the fastest car, while Caravel Academy in Bear took first place for best design. 

Participating schools also included: Holy Cross School, Dover; Milford Middle School and Milford Academy, Milford; Providence Creek Academy and Smyrna Middle School, Smyrna; Sanford School, Hockessin; Skyline Middle School and Springer Middle School, Wilmington; plus Smyrna Boys & Girls Club.

“Photovoltaic technology makes use of the abundant energy from the sun,” said Crystal Nagyiski, Solar Sprint event coordinator, DNREC Division of Energy and Climate. “We use photovoltaic technology as solar cells to power our watches and calculators, but solar power can do much more – by providing electricity for transportation and to heat and cool our homes and businesses. A solar electric panel provides a reliable, abundant and environmentally-smart source of energy.”  

Solar technologies diversify the energy supply, reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels, improve air quality, and offset greenhouse gas emissions. A growing solar industry also stimulates our economy by creating jobs in solar products manufacturing and installation. 

The event included many of the same highlights and challenges of racing full-sized racecars, including a rain delay. Racers also competed in time trials and test runs prior to the start of the competition, and pit crews came equipped with spare parts for possible repairs. 

At the end of the day, the winning schools were:

Race Results: Fastest car

1st place: Beacon Middle School, Lewes – Car #18

2nd place: Skyline Middle School, Wilmington – Car #5

3rd place: Springer Middle School, Wilmington – Car #1

4th place: Skyline Middle School, Wilmington – Car #6 

Best Design:

1st place: Caravel Academy, Bear – Car #17

2nd place: Holy Cross School, Dover – Car #15

3rd place: Springer Middle School, Wilmington – Car #2

4th place: Springer Middle School, Wilmington – Car #1

5th place: Milford Middle School, Milford – Car #11

For more information on solar and other alternative sources of energy and the programs of the Delaware Division of Energy and Climate, visit

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No. 205