Delaware students experience renewable energy technology firsthand in 2019 Junior Solar Sprint model car competition

HARRINGTON – DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy teamed up with the Delaware Technology Student Association today to host 35 teams of middle school students from across the state for the 2019 Junior Solar Sprint solar-powered model car competition. Students and educators representing 21 schools gathered in Harrington for the event, a Delaware tradition for more than 25 years.

Each year, students work with classmates and teacher advisors over several months to build model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells, better known as solar panels. Today, racers competed for top speed in time trials, as well as for awards in engineering design and creative design.

“Junior Solar Sprint challenges students to think about ways that we can meet our future energy needs cleanly and securely,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The best learning happens while students are having fun. They gain fond memories looking back and get career ideas looking forward.”

The Junior Solar Sprint competition is part of a national program from the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. It encourages students to engage in problem-solving, teamwork, and creative scientific thinking to take on environmental challenges. This year’s competition took place as one event during the Delaware Technology Student Association 2019 State Conference, which drew several hundred students to compete in various science and technology challenges.

First place in Junior Solar Sprint time-trial races: Bayard Middle School team, Car #3, left to right: Kiyarre Earl-Blake, Tarin Johnson, Jayden Harris, and Carl Martin. DNREC photo.

Participating schools in this year’s Junior Solar Sprint were: Alfred G. Waters Middle School, Middletown; Bayard Middle School, Wilmington; Beacon Middle School, Lewes; Brandywine Springs School, Wilmington; Cab Calloway, Wilmington; Central Middle School, Dover; Conrad School of Science, Wilmington; Fred Fifer Middle School, Dover; Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Newark; H.B. Dupont Middle School, Hockessin; Holy Cross School, Dover; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Wilmington; Las Americas ASPIRA Academy, Newark; Milford Central Academy, Milford; Providence Creek Middle School, Clayton; P.S. DuPont Middle School, Wilmington; Postlethwait Middle School, Camden; Springer Middle School, Wilmington; The Jefferson School, Georgetown; The Tatnall School, Greenville; Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington

Competition Results:
All-around winners for combined speed, design, and presentation:
• 1st place: Beacon Middle School, Car #5
• 2nd place: Postlethwait Middle School, Car #32
• 3rd place: Milford Central Academy, Car #27

Top five teams in time-trial races:
• 1st place: Bayard Middle School, Car #3
• 2nd place: Springer Middle School, Car #33
• 3rd place: Alfred G. Waters Middle School, Car #1
• 4th place: Postlethwait Middle School, Car #32
• 5th place: P.S. DuPont Middle School, Car #31

Top five teams in creative design:
• 1st place (tie): Central Middle School, Car #11 & Holy Cross, Car #22
• 2nd place (tie): Conrad Schools of Science, Car #12 & The Jefferson School, Car #35
• 3rd place: Holy Cross, Car #21

DNREC would also like to thank our 2019 Junior Solar Sprint sponsors: Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, Delaware Electric Cooperative, Chesapeake Utilities, Delaware State University, and CMI Solar.

For more information on renewable energy programs administered by the Delaware Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy, visit

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 82