Academy High School's Solar Car Challenge Team Takes a 229.6 Mile Trip to Victory

September 2, 2016

While some of us were soaking up the sun’s rays at the pool this summer, a team of Academy High School students were experiencing the sun in a different way — purely as an energy source to propel them to success. Students took part in the Solar Car Challenge, an education program designed to help motivate students in science, engineering, and alternative energy. The challenge teaches high school students how to plan, design, engineer, build, race and evaluate roadworthy solar cars. Through the challenge, students demonstrate that green technology can create a better world. Science & Technology Magazine named the Solar Car Challenge as one of the top Science and Engineering programs in the country.

Academy HS Solar Car

One hundred racing teams filed an intent to race form with the Solar Car Challenge; however, only 22 teams across the United States were successful in having a car ready for scrutineering. The Academy High School Titan Solar Racing Team participated in its inaugural race which began with a thorough three-day scrutineering process at Texas Motor Speedway to ensure the car met the challenge specifications and safety ratings. The team faced some difficulties, but were approved to race beginning on day two. The Titan Solar Racing Team entered a car in the newest division of the challenge: the Electric-Solar Powered Car. The goal of the race was to accumulate the most miles driven over the seven-day race from Ft. Worth to Minneapolis in their division. Each day at 5:00 p.m., the cars had to be at the impound lot for a public event, educating community members on the challenge, their process and their design.

On Saturday, July 23rd the race concluded in Minnesota with the Titan Solar Racing Team completing a total of 229.6 miles, beating the second place team in their division by 0.3 miles. Their commitment and relentless dedication to their team and their purpose were instrumental in their strong finish. The Titan team and Plano ISD thank corporate sponsor Toyota for their generous support helping to make the race a possibility and affording these dedicated students the opportunity to succeed.

Acdemy HS Solar Car Challenge Team picture with trophy

eNews Table of Contents

Staff Sponsors on trip:
Kevin Ng, teacher / sponsor
Lynn Ojeda, principal

Team Members on trip:
Austin Dwiggins
Josef Griesmer
Henry Howard, Team Captain
Donald King
Blake Margolis
Emma Martinez
Nilesh Pai
Denton Pitts
Tommy Roberts
George Schaefer
Margaret Seastrand
David Yang

Support Staff:
Stephanie Hirsch, teacher
Heidi Riddle, student