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Students to Race Solar-Powered Model Cars

For more information contact:
Sarah Holmes Barba, 303-275-3023 or 303-588-3048 (cell)
email: Sarah Barba

Golden, Colo., May. 10, 2001 - Forty-two teams of middle school students from across Colorado will race model solar cars on Saturday, May 12. The cars, designed to tap into energy from the sun, are powered only by solar electricity.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Kaiser-Hill, Midwest Research Institute, Battelle and Bechtel, the Junior Solar Sprint gives students the opportunity to show off their engineering and design skills by building and racing the model solar-powered vehicles.

Each team starts with a motor and a silicon solar cell, which converts light into electricity. Using any other materials, competitors design and build vehicles no larger than 12 inches wide, 24 inches long and 12 inches high.

The 20-meter race is a double elimination competition with awards going to the five fastest cars. Five design awards also will be given out for technology, craftsmanship and innovation.

The Energy Department began the Junior Solar Sprint 11 years ago to help educate young people about renewable energy and the environment.

The students will compete from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 12 at NREL's Solar Energy Research Facility (SERF). The event is open to the public.

To reach the SERF, take Interstate 70 to exit 263 (Denver West Boulevard). Turn north toward the Denver West Marriott Hotel. At the stop sign, turn left at Denver West Parkway and continue past the hotel and the NREL Visitors Center. The SERF is the silver-colored building one-eighth mile past the Visitors Center.

Visit NREL online for up-to-date news releases, photos and information.

NR-1901

Participating Schools
Arvada Middle School     Two teams
Bell Middle SchoolTwo teams
Clear Creek Middle SchoolTwo teams
Eagle Valley Middle SchoolTwo teams
Fountain Middle SchoolOne team
Hayden Middle SchoolTwo teams
Kunsmiller Middle SchoolOne team
Little ElementaryTwo teams
Lyons Middle SchoolTwo teams
Maple Grove Middle SchoolOne team
Maplewood Middle SchoolTwo teams
Monarch K-8Two teams
Nevin Platt Middle SchoolTwo teams
North Valley Middle SchoolTwo teams
Orchard Mesa Middle SchoolTwo teams
Rishel Middle SchoolTwo teams
Sinclair Middle School Two teams
St. Mary's SchoolTwo teams
South Valley Middle School Two teams
Summit Ridge Middle SchoolOne team
Westlake Middle SchoolTwo teams
West Grand Middle SchoolTwo teams
Witt Middle SchoolTwo teams