Golden, Colo., May 4 1999 Middle school students from across the state
next week will race model solar cars designed to tap into energy from the
sun. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy
Laboratory (NREL) and Kaiser-Hill, the Junior Solar Sprint will give
students the opportunity to show off their engineering and design skills by
building and racing 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 based
on technology, craftsmanship and innovation.
The Energy Department began the Junior Solar Sprint nine 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 15 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.