149 Teams In Place to Compete at 2nd Annual Long Beach Solar Grand Prix

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2nd annualFifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and the 5th District Solar and Sustainability Taskforce are sponsoring the 2nd Annual Long Beach solar Grand Prix. 149 teams comprised of over 500 Long Beach Middle and High School students will compete for top-spots in speed and design on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

Due to overwhelming student interest and registration totals for the 2011 event, the Solar Grand Prix will take place at El Dorado Park, a larger location than last year. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters has responded to the increase in participation and will construct an additional 10-lane track.

“The Solar Grand Prix provides a wonderful learning experience for Long Beach students,” explains Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske. “Students work in teams, use their creativity and employ math and science outside of the classroom, all the while gaining exposure to sustainability.”

Teams receive a solar car kit, which includes a solar panel and an electric motor. Using any other materials, competitors design and build a model solar-powered vehicle that will race on a 20-meter (65-foot) racecourse. The winner of the competition will be the team whose vehicle is the top finisher in a series of head to head elimination rounds. Students can also win awards for the most creative designs. Volunteer mentors have been assigned to help each team prepare for the race.

The day will include information and demos by exhibitors as part of the Sustainability Fair, and food can be purchased from local food trucks. Confirmed trucks include: Organic Oasis, Knock Out Taco Truck, Dogzilla, TastyMeat!, Barbie’s Q and Komodo. The exhibitors include: SoCal Harvest, Tenco Solar, El Dorado Nature Center, Green Long Beach!, Aquarium of the Pacific, Animal Care Services, Environmental Services Bureau, AMECO Solar, Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, Featherstone, Inc., Plug In America, Southern California Edison, and Real Goods Solar.

Thanks to the generous support of the event’s sponsors, the Solar Car Kits, medals, trophies and t-shirts are provided to student teams at no-cost, and the Sustainability Fair and Solar Grand Prix are free and open to the public. Sponsors include: Partners of Parks, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, IBEW Local Union 11, Southern California Edison, Progressive Power Group, Phat Energy, SA Recycling, P2S Engineering, Inc., Long Beach Lifeguard Association, Long Beach Yellow Cab Co-Op, AMECO Solar, Union Bank, BP America, Inc., Grand Prix Foundation of Long Beach, and Mr. Mike Walter, Port of Long Beach Commissioner.

Volunteers are still needed for this event. If you would like to be involved, contact the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske at (562) 570-6932 or district5@longbeach.gov.

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