Students recognized for creativity during energy education event

Golden, Colo., May 13, 2003 — Tapping the power of the sun was the theme of a recent Junior Solar Sprint Solarbrate event hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The 13th Annual Junior Solar Sprint, held on May 10, gave students the chance to design, build and race vehicles whose only energy source was sunlight. Each team started with a motor and a silicon solar cell, which converts light into electricity.

Trophies for the fastest cars were given to students racing Bell Middle School’s car, “Speeder,” first place; North Valley Middle School’s car, “Yoda’s Posse,” second place; Orchard Mesa Middle School’s car, “The Falcon,” third place; Orchard Mesa Middle School’s car, “Ultra Jiffy Bails,” fourth place; and Maplewood Middle School’s car, “Solar Shark 3,” fifth place.

Bell Middle School and North Valley Middle School will represent Colorado at the National Middle School Science Bowl June 25 – 28 at the Colorado School of Mines. The two teams will compete in an academic science bowl and a hands-on model solar car competition.

Five design trophies based on technology, craftsmanship and innovation were given to teams from West Middle School, first place; Lyons Middle School’s car, “Solar Speedster,” second place; West Middle School, third place; Centennial Middle School’s car, “Solar Squad,” fourth place; and Monarch K-8’s car, “The Lady,” fifth place.

As part of the Solar Model Building Competition, nine middle-school student teams tapped their creative energy and designed and built solar powered models using K’NEX construction toys. Lyons Middle School earned first place while Mead Middle School placed second and Orchard Mesa Middle School placed third.

The Junior Solar Sprint and Solar Model Building Competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Midwest Research Institute, Battelle, Bechtel, NREL, BP America, Inc. and the Kaiser-Hill Company.

NREL is a national laboratory managed by Midwest Research Institute, Battelle, and Bechtel. In addition to its work on biotechnology for fuels and chemicals, the lab is a leading center for research into photovoltaics, wind energy, energy-efficient buildings, advanced vehicle design and hydrogen fuel cells.

Visit NREL on-line at for up-to-date news releases, photos and information.

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