Poly Students Take 2nd Place in Solar Boating Competition

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solar boat races across the water

A Long Beach Poly student races the team’s solar powered boat during the competition.

Last weekend, 15 students from Long Beach Poly High School competed against 40 other Southern California teams in the Metropolitan Water District’s Ninth Annual Solar Cup Boat Race Competition at Lake Skinner, located in Temecula Valley.

The Poly High team put in a strong performance, taking second place overall and winning a number of other awards that included:

  • 1st place (in region) for the sprint race
  • 1st place (in region) for the 90 minute endurance race
  • 1st place (overall) for written technical reports
  • 2nd place (in region) for a water conservation Public Service Announcement

The seven month program allowed the students to learn about conservation of natural resources, electrical and mechanical engineering and helped them advance their problem solving abilities.

Despite several mechanical and electrical problems that arose with the boat minutes before and during the races, the team, due to its months of training and testing, was able to make quick decisions and adjustments to help them remain competitive.

“The team worked together like a well oiled machine to make necessary decisions at the drop of a hat,” said Gregory Pepek, one of two team advisors. “The students took real time data from our boat during the races and analyzed it with tests we had completed during the previous months and were able to then deliver the information to our driver so she could conserve our limited amount of energy.  It was really amazing to watch,” continued Mr. Pepek.

Long Beach Poly High School teachers Gregory Pepek and Tamara Araya served as this year’s team advisors.  The Long Beach Water Department was the team sponsor.  LB Poly also took second place in the 2009 Solar Cup Competition.

Long Beach Water is an urban, Southern California retail water supply agency, and the standard in water conservation and environmental stewardship.

Students from Long Beach Poly Solar Boat Team

Front Row (L to R) Advisors Ms. Araya, Mr. Pepek; Students Eric Israel, William Stringer, Tijana Temelkovska, Leslie Chacon, Hailey Vogel, Evette Marasigan, Rebekah Garcia, Andrew Tee, Perla Gonzalez; Middle Row: Chris Korkos, Dylan Martinez, Lee Puckett, Gaspar Garcia, Alex Johnson; 3rd Row Center Back: Jack Hazan.

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