The Solar Car Challenge is a closed-track event held at the world famous Texas Motor Speedway that helps to motivate students in Science, Engineering, and Alternative Energy.
"[It's] my baby, I'm being dead serious," –That's how Wylie High School student Nic Williams described the car he and his team created. And it runs entirely off of solar panels.
"This relief that I'm feeling that this car is done has to be the best part of this entire thing," Williams said.
Another crew of students from Coppell High School finished their car to compete among 31 teams from across the country.
There are 151 on-going high school solar car projects in 29 states, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Uzbekistan. There are more than 400 schools lined up to enter this project in the future. 31 of these teams have announced that they are going to race in this summer’s race
"It's a lot to take in and it's a really different experience from what we're use to I guess, but it's so cool to see everything and to meet all these people and to see how it works," said Coppell student Mackenzie Becker. She and her team spent months designing and building the cars which were featured at the event at Texas Motor Speedway.
It is a race that doesn't necessarily revolve around how fast the cars can go. With a top speed of 30 miles per hour, the winning creation will outlast the competition.
Team members were to take turns driving their creations. And yes, most of the cars had air conditioning.
Organizers focused on getting students out of their comfort zone. "We're building great engineers but we're also teaching the life skills that you pick up yourself and you go forward with it," said Dr. Lehman Marks, an organizer of the event.
Each team’s solar car is an individual project; they are not provided a kit. Students learn to choose materials for their solar car based on their plan, financial resources, and capabilities. This helps makes the Solar Car Challenge a unique “turn key” project.
For more information, visit http://www.solarcarchallenge.org.
Solar Car Challenge 2015
July 20 – 23
Texas Motor Speedway
3545 Lone Star Cir
Fort Worth, TX 76177