Noiseless Grand Prix? Long Beach Solar Grand Prix Set for Saturday

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solar race carsFor more than three months, 300 students have been working in teams to design and build cars powered by solar energy. It’s all part of the Long Beach Solar Grand Prix, a “noiseless race” that will round the tracks in Good Neighbor Park this weekend.

For these kids, the journey started with a brief workshop on the basics of solar energy and how automobiles operate. After learning about solar powered vehicles, each team of students received a solar car kit that includes a solar panel and a motor. From that point on, student teams were responsible for designing their race cars.

The Solar Grand Prix challenges students to use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation, and teamwork to design and build high-performance model solar vehicles.

On Saturday, April 10, student teams will compete for prizes for the fastest and most creative solar cars judged by a panel of technical experts.

A number of “solar and sustainability” exhibitors will also be on hand to demonstrate the latest items. Hot dogs and sodas will be provided by the Long Beach Firefighters Association and the Long Beach Lifeguards Association.

The wooden track for the Solar Grand Prix will be constructed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America – Local 360 in Good Neighbor Park on Friday morning. In the afternoon, students will have a chance to begin test runs of their vehicles.

The Solar Grand Prix will race the track on Saturday, April 10, 2010, 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Good Neighbor Park is located at 2800 Studebaker (at Barrios) in eastside Long Beach.

The  Solar Car Grand Prix is sponsored by Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske and the 5th District Solar and Sustainability Task Force. Additional sponsors include: Southern California Edison, the City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department,  P2S Engineering, Progressive Power Group, Long Beach Nature Center, Partners of Parks, Ameco Solar, United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America – Local 360, Long Beach Firefighters Association, and the Long Beach Lifeguards Association, ABC Solar.

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