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

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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

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