Final preparations continue for the nation's largest solar-powered boat
competition with 40 teams of high school students throughout Southern
California entering the home stretch for three days of racing this
weekend as part of Metropolitan Water District's Solar Cup™.
Beginning Friday (May 16), teams from high schools (see accompanying
list) in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and
Ventura counties are participating through the weekend in the 12th
annual Solar Cup at Metropolitan's Lake Skinner, just north of Temecula.
About 10,000 students have participated in Solar Cup since the inaugural
event launched with just eight boats in 2002. The program is a
team-based educational competition that allows students to apply their
skills in math, physics, engineering and communications, while learning
about Southern California's water sources, resource management,
conservation and alternative energy development.
"The weekend of racing culminates the students' school-year commitment
to learning about alternative energy, water conservation,
sustainability, engineering and teamwork," said Solar Cup coordinator
Julie Miller, a state-certified teacher in Metropolitan's education
"Solar Cup serves as an educational benchmark for our future workforce
while students gain hands-on lessons in science, technology, engineering
and environmental sciences to round out their textbook curriculum,"
The competition begins with teams being put through a series of
qualifying events by Metropolitan and a technical advisory team from
Harvey Mudd and Occidental colleges to ensure boats meet rules and are
safe and seaworthy. Saturday, May 17, will feature single-seat, 16-foot
boats outfitted with solar-collection panels in endurance races around a
Sunday is highlighted by 200-meter sprint races-in which the solar
panels are removed and the boats are powered by solar energy stored in
batteries. The races will be followed by an awards ceremony, with
trophies awarded in veteran and rookie divisions for teams with the
highest points, as well as to teams honored for "Hottest-Looking Boat,"
teamwork and sportsmanship.
Races are easily visible from the lake shoreline and are open to the
public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission and parking. Lake
Skinner is at 37701 Warren Road in the Temecula Valley community of
Winchester in southwest Riverside County-about 10 miles northeast of the
Rancho California Road exit off Interstate 15.
Since building identical hulls last November from kits supplied by
Metropolitan, students have worked nights and weekends to maximize their
boats' endurance, speed and mechanical and electrical efficiencies. Over
the past few months, working with their sponsoring Metropolitan member
and local agencies, they have equipped the 16-foot-long shells with
solar panels, batteries, electrical systems, drive trains, propellers
In advance of the three-day event, teams are fine-tuning their
hand-built boats equipped with solar panels, motors and steering. In
addition to the veterans division, Solar Cup features a rookie division
for first-time teams. Teams also are divided into four regions-the
Foothill, Central & Bay, Inland Empire and South Counties regions.
Winners are the teams with the highest number of points gained in the
competitions, technical inspections, submission of three technical
reports and creation of a public service announcement focusing on water
conservation in the form of a 30- to 60-second, self-scripted and
produced, conservation video or audiotape or a brochure.
Event videos and photos from past Solar Cup events can be found under
Education Programs at Metropolitan's website, www.mwdh2o.com.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a
cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million
people in six counties. The district imports water from
the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies,
and helps its members to develop increased water conservation,
recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
2014 Solar Cup™ Team List
* Rookie Teams
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