Each year, the North East Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) organizes the Junior Solar Sprint, a model solar car competition for grades six through eight. The DEP is a partner and helps to promote and coordinate this event. The Junior Solar Sprint promotes the application of math, physics and engineering technology in a competition that encourages creativity and cooperation. Working in a group, students design, build and race a small solar powered car. Kits are available from school science supply companies. The State Energy Office holds a final competition at the State Museum in Trenton in mid-May. A kit includes a solar cell, motor, decals and directions. Schools may hold a competition in early spring and send their best entries to regional runoffs in May. NESEA also holds a northeastern championship in mid-June.
The contest challenges students to demonstrate scientific and creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork while designing and building the vehicles.
Models will receive awards for design based on technology, craftsmanship and creativity along with track performance.
To prepare early for this competition, students in grades four through six may learn how to design a racing model from a physical science curriculum supplement called "A World in Motion" created by the Society of Automotive Engineers and Educators. To learn more about obtaining this resource, contact 1-800-457-2946 or 412-776-4841 Ext. 491.
Model Solar Car Workshop Near You!
Educators of students grades 6-8
Renewable Energy Program
Division of Energy, PO Box 350
Trenton NJ 08625-0305