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Competitions: Alt Energy Model Car Race. Florida

Photo of students racing hydrogen sprint cars.Competition Date: Check the Website for upcoming competitions, typically held in May. Eligibility and Level: Florida students in grades 6-8 and 9-12.

Each May, The Florida Solar Energy Center sponsors two alternative energy model car competitions:

  • The Hydrogen Sprint, with hands-on opportunities for high school students, grades 9 – 12, to explore the emerging scientific technology of hydrogen power. Students are challenged to design and build a high performance model sized vehicle which demonstrates the potential of hydrogen fuel; and
  • The Junior Solar Sprint (JSS), with opportunites for middle school students, 6-8th grade, to design, build and race JSS cars. The small model cars — powered entirely by solar energy and steered by wires — are built as team efforts guided by teachers.

Students make hydrogen before the raceBoth competitions are held as part of the EnergyWhiz Olympics, which also include Energy Innovations. a real world, full-scale photovoltaic design challenge for middle school and high school students; and the Solar Energy Cook-off for which 4th though 8th graders design,  build, and demonstrate solar cookers. Inexpensive car kits for the two car competitions can be purchased from Solar World (719) 635-5125 for $30.00, or from Pitsco.

Teachers and students outside Florida may still be interested in exploring the site,  competitions, and resources for ideas.

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