The Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) is an educational program for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students to design, build and race model cars powered by the sun. The Junior Solar Sprint program aims to educate youth about solar power and renewable energy, get them interested in design and engineering at a young age with an exciting hands-on project, and promote teamwork, as the solar powered cars have to be worked on in teams of two to four students.
Teams of students vie for their solar-powered car to cross the racetrack finish line first and win the prize for speed. Cars are also awarded prizes for craftsmanship, innovation, technical merit, best use of recycled materials and best team spirit.
On Saturday, May 30th, 2009, over eighty local students gathered at Cape Cod Community College for the Sixth Annual Cape & Islands Junior Solar Sprint. This year’s race attracted thirty-one cars from ten schools across Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts. Winners from the Cape & Islands Area race were invited to compete in the Regional JSS Race in Springfield, Mass., hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).
The Cape & Islands JSS program, now in its sixth year, has been gaining recognition in schools across the Cape and participation has more than doubled since the first year. This year the Cape & Islands JSS program has continued to grow, and has attracted 4 new schools to participate and more will be ready to join next year.
The Cape & Islands sprint would not have been possible without generous support from the Cape Cod Community College and NESEA. e2 Solar, Cotuit Solar, Cape Light Compact, GroSolar, Loud Fuel, and Alteris Inc. sponsored our first t-shirts for participating teams, many of which were donned immediately! Enthusiastic support from volunteer judges Ray Buchan, Andy Morris, Joan Muller, Sarah Griscom, Debbie Fitton, and John Pribilla was crucial to the event’s success. Bountiful food donations were made by Pizza Wave, Scottie’s Famous Pizza, Mike’s Pizza, Cape Cod Chips, Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop in order to provide lunch for the students and their families, which kept everyone happy throughout the day. The event also included educational displays set up by local environmental organizations and groups that promote solar power and renewable energy, including Clean Power Now, Cape Light Compact and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Jaclyn Hochreiter, a member of the AmeriCorps Cape Cod program, serves two days a week with Cape & Islands Self-Reliance as the Junior Solar Sprint Coordinator. Jaclyn’s responsibilities included recruitment of new educators to the JSS program, holding teacher trainings, and making classroom visits to help educate the students about solar power and renewable energy technologies. She coordinated the JSS with guidance from Megan Amsler, Executive Director of Cape & Islands Self-Reliance, Lindsey Close of Cape & Islands Self-Reliance, and Richard Lawrence, Cape Cod Community College’s Clean Energy Program Coordinator. Jaclyn would like to thank everyone who participated and made the 2009 Cape & Islands Junior Solar Sprint a success.
Join us on Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 4:00 pm until 8:30 pm for the Junior Solar Sprint teacher workshop.
The Junior Solar Sprint is a challenging hands-on classroom activity for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.The students design, build, and race model solar power cars while in the process learning about solar energy.In its seventh year on the Cape and Islands we plan to make this the biggest and best Junior Solar Sprint yet!
This workshop is being held at the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Boat House, located at 149 Waquoit Highway, Waquoit.
For a small $10 registration fee, the workshop will give you an introduction of the JSS program with sample curricula and educational materials to energize your students.We will offer strategic planning on how to implement the solar sprint lessons into your classroom or after school programs, and aid in the building of model sprint cars. For an additional $40, you get to take home the car that you built (the solar panel and motor can be re-used for experiments and building additional cars for the competition) A light dinner will be provided at the workshop.
If you have any questions about the 2009 event or want to schedule a time for our JSS organizer to visit your classroom and work with you and your students, please email: email@example.com and you will receive a reply when they are in the office.
Mass. Tech’s Teacher Resources: On the right hand side of this site is a list of great resources for teachers including a by topic review of other helpful sites and resources. The site also has several teaching curricula specifically geared at the Mass. education frame works. www.masstech.org/cleanenergy/curriculum/about.htm
Chimacum School District’s JSS Page: Step by step guide on each step of making the car, good pictures to show how the parts interact, and several weeks worth of classroom activities. http://eagle.chimacum.wednet.edu/middle/jss/
Florida Solar Energy Centers teachers page: Contains a list of several classroom activities to learn about each part of the Jr. Solar Sprint. The site also includes many helpful links to other resources. www.fsec.ucf.edu/ed/AFM/activity11.htm