Teens Turn Up the Heat in Annual Solar Car Race

At the annual Solar Car Challenge, the sun is your friend -- even when that means a ride in 152-degree heat. High schools from throughout the country -- and beyond -- wrapped up four days of competition Saturday at the Texas Motor Speedway. While the day's official high hit 101 degrees, racers encountered beyond-sweltering temperatures on the track and in the pit. They took the heat in stride, though, because a cloudy day could ruin a shot at racing cars that take months -- sometimes more than a year -- to build. "We call this 'the brain sport,'" said volunteer Matthew Tunnell, who competed in the challenge throughout high school. "It's weirdly grueling, and it's all about thinking ahead."There's also plenty of fun. Each car shows a bit of the team's personality -- bright green to match school colors at St. John's School in the Bahamas, or a horn lifted from an ice cream truck for Liberty Christian School's entry."This team is your family for two weeks every year," said recent graduate Ty White, 18.White's team, Greenville High School's Iron Lions, competed in two of the three divisions -- the classic division and the electric-solar powered division. Students can also compete in an advanced division. While Greenville's team has competed for several years and even has a class dedicated to the task, some schools have newer teams, like St. John's School, and may not have built-in time to work on their cars.  Continue reading...

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