Champion Crowned in 2021 Junior Solar Sprint

Solar Sprint Winner Aarushi Nayak

Middle School Students Compete in Virtual Event

A Middletown home school student earned the title of 2021 Junior Solar Sprint champion in a virtual competition held Friday.

Each year, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control teams up with the Delaware Technology Student Association for the event. Middle school students work with classmates and teacher advisors over several months to build model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells, better known as solar panels.

“As we continue to move toward cleaner, renewable energy sources, the competition provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate how we can meet our future energy needs,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Seeing how your design stacks up against others from around the state is a fun and educational experience that students can learn and grow from.”

This year the competition was altered from past events in that, in addition to designing their solar vehicles, students had to construct a track to competition specifications and record their best times in a video presentation that was also part of the judging.

“Every year we are amazed by the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the students in the Junior Solar Sprint,” said Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy Director Dayna Cobb. “But this year was more impressive by the requirements for the virtual event.”

The Junior Solar Sprint encourages students to engage in problem-solving, teamwork and creative scientific thinking to take on environmental challenges.

Students received points for project portfolios, video presentations of their work, overall design and fastest speed in a timed run. The team accumulating the most points wins and has an opportunity to represent Delaware against other students from around the country in the national TSA conference, which is being held virtually this summer.

In addition to one homeschool team and a team of remote learners, student from Milford Central Academy, Cab Calloway, Postlethwait Middle School, HB duPont and Gauger-Cobbs participated in this year’s virtual event.

Competition Results

The all-around winners for combined speed, design, video and portfolio presentations were:

  • 1st place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak
  • 2nd place: Gauger-Cobbs
  • 3rd place: Sussex Academy

Top results from the timed run competition included:

  • 1st place: Gauger-Cobbs
  • 2nd place: Sussex Academy
  • 3rd place: HB duPont

Top results from the design competition included:

  • 1st place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak
  • 2nd place: Gauger-Cobbs
  • 3rd place: Sussex Academy

Top results from the video presentation included:

  • 1st place: Milford Central Academy
  • 2nd place: Sussex Academy
  • 3rd. place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak

Top results from the portfolio competition:

  • 1st place: Middletown homeschool student Aarushi Nayak
  • 2nd place: Milford Central Academy
  • 3rd place: Cab Calloway

The 2021 Virtual Junior Solar Sprint sponsors include Chesapeake Utilities, Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility and the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation.

Visit the program web page for more information on the Junior Solar Sprint, or to watch a recording of the virtual competition.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov, Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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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 https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/energy-climate/renewable/.

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

Vol. 49, No. 82

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Registration open to schools through Jan. 25 for 2018 Junior Solar Sprint competition

DOVER – DNREC challenges 5th through 8th grade students to build and race solar-powered model cars in the 2018 Junior Solar Sprint, a statewide challenge of creativity, engineering, and speed. Co-sponsored by DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate and the Delaware Technology Student Association (TSA), the annual competition will be held Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.

Middle schools statewide may register up to two teams of two to four students each. Registration is free, and the Division of Energy & Climate will provide each participating school with up to two starter kits, each including a solar panel, motor, and wheels.

Registration is due by Jan. 25, 2018, and may be emailed to Caren.Fitzgerald@delaware.gov or sent by mail to: DNREC Division of Energy & Climate, ATTN: Junior Solar Sprint registration, State Street Commons, 100 West Water Street, Suite 5A, Dover, DE 19904.

Complete Junior Solar Sprint rules are posted online at the Division of Energy & Climate’s renewable energy webpage, or the Delaware TSA State Conference webpage. Schools are not required to have a TSA chapter in order to participate. Delaware’s event is part of the National Junior Solar Sprint Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program.

For more information, email Caren.Fitzgerald@delaware.gov or call 302-735-3480.

Vol. 47, No. 262

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


Delaware middle school students enjoy hands-on renewable energy experience with DNREC-sponsored Junior Solar Sprint

HARRINGTON – Gauger-Cobbs Middle School of Newark and W.T. Chipman Middle School of Harrington claimed the checkered flag today as 24 teams of middle school students from 14 schools across the state vied for honors in the Junior Solar Sprint, a competition in which students build and race solar-powered model cars. DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate teamed up with the Delaware Technology Student Association to organize this year’s event at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.

Over the past few months, students worked with classmates and teacher advisors to build model cars powered by solar photovoltaic cells, or solar panels. Today, their work paid off as racers competed for top speed in time trials, as well as for awards in engineering design and creative design. And in the process of putting their cars into the Junior Solar Sprint competition they also got a better grasp of what solar technology can mean for their future.

“Solar technology allows us to harness the sun’s abundant energy for a clean, lasting power source,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Junior Solar Sprint challenges students to think about ways solar energy plays a larger role in our lives by providing electricity for our everyday energy needs. Delaware has over 4,000 solar energy systems across the state, powering homes, houses of worship, public buildings, farms and businesses. Solar and other forms of clean energy enable Delawareans to achieve a better quality of life by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping protect our environment.”

The Junior Solar Sprint competition is part of a national program sponsored by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program. It encourages students to engage in problem-solving, teamwork, and creative scientific thinking to solve environmental challenges. DNREC has participated in Junior Solar Sprint for more than 20 years. This year’s event was in conjunction with the Delaware Technology Student Association 2017 State Conference, which drew several hundred students to compete in various science and technology challenges.

Participating schools in this year’s Junior Solar Sprint were MOT Charter Middle School, Middletown; Fred Fifer Middle School, Camden; W.T. Chipman Middle School, Harrington; Providence Creek Academy, Clayton; Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Wilmington; P.S. duPont Middle School, Wilmington; Holy Cross School, Dover; Sanford School, Hockessin; Springer Middle School, Wilmington; Postlethwait Middle School, Camden; Beacon Middle School, Lewes; Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Newark; H.B. DuPont Middle School, Hockessin, and Alfred G. Waters Middle School, Middletown.

2017 Junior Solar Sprint Competition results

All-around winners for combined speed, design, and presentation:

  • 1st place: Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Car #2
  • 2nd place: Springer Middle School, Car #7
  • 3rd place: W.T. Chipman Middle School, Car #14

Top five teams in time-trial races:

  • 1st place: Gauger-Cobbs Middle School, Car #3
  • 2nd place: Springer Middle School, Car #7
  • 3rd place: Springer Middle School, Car #8
  • 4th place: W.T. Chipman Middle School, Car #15
  • 5th place: W.T. Chipman Middle School, Car #14

Top five teams in creative design:

  • 1st place: W.T. Chipman Middle School, Car #14
  • 2nd place: Springer Middle School, Car #8
  • 3rd place: Sanford School, Car #19
  • 4th place: Holy Cross Middle School, Car #21
  • 5th place: Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Car #11

For more information on renewable energy programs administered by the Delaware Division of Energy & Climate, please visit the Division of Energy & Climate website. For a close-up of the Junior Solar Sprint competition, please view a video on DNREC’s Facebook page.

Media contact: Elizabeth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 90

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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 www.energy.dnrec.delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 43, No. 205

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