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Students and Their Cars Preparing for More Fun in the Sun

May 9, 2007 — The 12th annual Junior Solar Sprint is set to resume on St. Thomas this Friday after transportation problems in April prevented most of the St. Thomas students from participating in the original event held at Sunny Isle Shopping Center (See "Solar Sprint Winners Soon to Face Off Against St. Thomas Students").
V.I. Energy Office Director Bevan R. Smith Jr. said, “The second day of races was scheduled, so students that worked so hard building their cars would not be denied the excitement of the races.”
Ten students from three St. Croix schools are scheduled to go to St. Thomas Friday to compete with students from eight St. Thomas schools. The 10 students, with their solar-powered cars, qualified for the trip with winning times during the races at Sunny Isle on April 13.
Friday's races will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Charlotte Amalie High School’s tennis courts.
According to a press release, "The Junior Solar Sprint Competition is an exciting, hands-on, educational experience that was developed for junior high school students to improve their knowledge of math, science, engineering, and renewable energy concepts by designing and constructing solar model cars."
The Energy Office provided the seventh- and eighth-graders with a kit that includes a motor and solar panel. The rest of the car is made from materials of the students' choosing. Each participating school has three teams with two students.
Smith added, "The purpose of the activity is to give students the feel of how solar energy works and also expand on their science and math skills in design considerations for electric and hybrid vehicles."
For more information about the race or to see film highlights of the first race, go to www.vienergy.org or call Don Buchanan at 773-1082, ext. 2239.

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