Students put sun power pedal to the metal
The sun came out just in time to provide the power needed to propel a fleet of student designed solar cars in the 5th annual Model Solar Car Race at the Chilmark Community Center Saturday.
More than 40 Island fifth- and sixth-graders participated in the race organized by the Vineyard Energy Project (VEP) and Nan Doty of Chilmark.
VEP provided students with a standard kit of parts with which to design their model cars. Teams were allowed to modify and name their cars.
The combination of imagination and technology was reflected in the names, which included "Ra" (the Egyptian Sun god), "Solar Surfer" and "ICar".
In addition to speed trials, the teams had to describe the technical design of their racer and demonstrate their knowledge of solar science before three judges.
Award categories included best technical merit, best design, most knowledgeable, and fastest speed. A compete list of the winners is available here.
"This is the best kind of educational experience, combining head, heart, and hands," said VEP Board chairman Paul Pimentel after the contest.