16 Local Middle Schools Competed In The State's Largest Solar Showdown

Junior Solar Sprint Winners

North Gwinnett Middle School, 1st place in Speed/Performance & 1st in Design/Engineering - from left to right; front row: Richie Adams, Kirtan Parekh and Jordan Thomason; back row: Team Coach Jonathan Roy, Tanay Sheth, Tilak Patel and Lauren Johnson

Jefferson, GA— It was anything but a regular school day for the 16 local middle schools students who participated in the May 4th, Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) competition.  Using one of the Earth’s brightest resources, the sun, students put their hand-built solar sprinters to the test in a fast paced race competition held at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. 

Although this was their first year competing in the JSS, North Gwinnett Middle School’s solar sprinter, Mouse DAWG, took home gold winning 1st place in Speed/Performance.   In the same category, Dacula Middle won 2nd place and West Hall Middle won 3rd place.  Judges also awarded 1st place for Best in Design/Engineering to North Gwinnett Middle School, followed by Winder Barrow Middle taking 2nd place and Madison County Middle with 3rd place.

Banks, Burney-Harris-Lyons, Chestatee, Creekland, Dacula, East Hall, East Jackson, Frank Osborne, Kings Bridge, Madison, North Gwinnett, North Hall, Richard Hull, Sweetwater, West Hall and Winder Barrow middle schools competed this year.

The best solar-powered model cars from each school were judged on performance and design in this regional competition.  All participants received identical solar panels and motors in kits; however, the students could be creative when selecting what their chassis, wheels, transmissions and designs would be from other materials.  Encouraged to use math and science principles, students also had the opportunity to include a little creativity in this fun, hands-on educational program.  In addition to qualifying race times, cars were also judged on design, craftsmanship and performance.

“The JSS is designed to teach principles of energy and science in a fun and exciting atmosphere that’s teaching our young folks about alternative energy sources,” says Randall Pugh, president and CEO. 

Developed by Green Power EMC, the JSS program is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and Midwest Research Institute, Battelle and Bechtel and managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Along with Jackson EMC and Right Choice, this JSS competition race was sponsored in part by First Century Energy, Green Power EMC, PPT Promotions, Skip Barber Racing School and Road Atlanta.

Middle schools in Jackson EMC’s service territory were selected to join in this educational, solar showdown event.  For more information about the JSS program,visit www.jacksonemc.com/solarsprint or see Jackson EMC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.