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Student-Made Solar and Lithium Ion Battery Cars Take to the Racetrack on Saturday

Friday, May 16, 2014

Nearly 300 middle school students from around Colorado will participate in the 24th Annual Junior Solar Sprint and Lithium Ion Battery car competitions on Saturday, May 17, at Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton. The competitions give students the opportunity to showcase their engineering skills by building and racing high-performance model solar and battery vehicles.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Fellow David Ginley, who served as official starter for the solar races last year said: "For many middle schoolers, this activity represents their first hands-on connection to renewable energy and sustainable technologies."

Seventy-four teams from 21 Colorado schools will race cars on a 20-meter course. The batteries used in the competition are supplied by the Energy Department, and teams purchase authorized solar panels, then design and build the rest of their cars themselves. Trophies will be presented to winners in six categories. The competition event is free and open to the public.

What:     Junior Solar Sprint and Lithium Ion Battery Car Competition
When:    10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 17
Where:   Dakota Ridge High School, 13399 West Coal Mine Avenue, Littleton, CO 80127

The annual competition is sponsored by the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), DOE’s Office of Science, the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, Jefferson County Schools, Dakota Ridge High School, and the DOE Golden Service Center. Phil Long Ford of Denver, Whole Foods Market, Sam’s Club and Mahnke Auto Body are also supporting the event by providing lunches and trophies for the winning teams.

Editors: HD b-roll and high resolution photographs of the competition are available by contacting Heather Lammers with NREL Public Affairs.

Schools participating in this year’s Junior Solar Sprint and Lithium Ion Battery car competitions include:
Bell Middle School, Golden
Blevins Middle School, Fort Collins
Calhan School District RJ-1
Castle Rock Middle School
D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School, Denver
Eldorado K8 School, Boulder
Englewood Middle School
Ken Caryl Middle School, Lakewood
Lincoln Academy Middle School, Arvada
Littleton Academy, Littleton
Mead Middle School,
Merrill Middle School, Denver
Sabin Middle School, Colorado Springs
Saint Peter and Paul School, Wheat Ridge
Semper Elementary School, Westminster
Southern Hills Middle School, Boulder
Summit Ridge Middle School, Littleton
The Manning Option School, Lakewood
University Schools, Greeley
William Roberts E-8, Denver
Woodlands Academy, Castle Rock

For more information, visit the NREL Education web site.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

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