LBMS follows the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s guidelines and rules for the Junior Solar Sprint race. This middle school activity challenges students to design, build, test, and compete with model solar cars according to strict specifications. Students are given an official 3V rated solar panel and an official 3V rated motor. Students design a vehicle around these constraints, guided on a 20 meter race wire, trying to obtain the fastest time with the available sun. LBMS does this activity with 7th graders. At this time, all 7th graders in LBMS take pre-engineering and are in the class 40 minutes a day for six weeks. Each individual class of students has a race at the end of the term. The fastest car from each class will advance to the North East Regional JSS race in May of 2017.
The NREL site for these activities has many informational/instructional materials that are well organized and time tested with students. See their site at: https://www.nrel.gov/workingwithus/car-competitions.html
LBMS Race Results
Over 425 cars have raced in the past 6 years here at LBMS. Click here for a PDF file that shows the list. For some pictures of past cars, click here. If you’d like to sort the data to search for patterns, click here for a Google Sheets
The Great American Solar Challenge
The American Solar Challenge started their race in North East Ohio the summer of 2016. LBMS was there, manning a display for the JSS race. Students from LBMS got to not only see these wonderful full-sized solar cars, but also talked to college students as well as answering questions about the Junior Solar Sprint race.