For Immediate Release


Contact: Kenneth Sheinkopf
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703
Phone: (321) 638-1007
FAX: (321) 638-1010
EnergyWhiz Olympics to be Held at FSEC on Saturday
The popular EnergyWhiz Olympics, featuring daylong events for hundreds of students 
from around the state, will be held at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) on 
Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. until about 4 p.m. The center is at 1679 Clearlake 
Road in Cocoa.

Each year, hundreds of students from elementary through high school take part in 
the competitions that feature alternative fuels in the Junior Solar Sprint, Middle 
School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen Demonstration and High School Hydrogen 
Sprint. Susan Schleith, who directs these activities for FSEC, noted that there 
are 49 teams signed up for this year's Junior Solar Sprint, eight returning teams 
for the Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen competition and 10 teams for 
the High School Hydrogen Sprint.

The first event, starting at 9 a.m., is the Junior Solar Sprint, a hands-on 
competition for middle school students in grades 6 through 8.  Students work in 
teams to design, build and race model-size, solar-powered vehicles. Awards are 
given based on vehicle design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and vehicle 
speed.  Students begin getting their cars checked in and tested in the morning, 
and the races start at noon.

The Middle School Science Bowl Hands-On Hydrogen competition is the second part of 
the Southeast Regional Science Bowl. The top eight academic teams that scored 
highest in the earlier academic bowl held on April 1 were required to design and 
build a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to qualify for the National Science Bowl 
Competition.  Those eight teams will demonstrate the performance of their vehicles 
at the EnergyWhiz Olympics. The top academic team with a qualifying vehicle will 
represent the Southeast in the National Competition to be held June 21-24 in 
Denver, Colo.

The High School Hydrogen Sprint is a hands-on competition for students in grades 9 
through 12 and was created to expose students to the potential of hydrogen as an 
alternative fuel source and also as a follow-up program for those graduates of the 
Junior Solar Sprint program who wanted to continue designing and building 
alternative fuel vehicles.  Students design, build and race hydrogen fuel cell 
vehicles.  In addition to the hands-on portion of the competition, teams are 
required to give a 10-minute presentation on some aspect of hydrogen research.

"The EnergyWhiz Olympics is a day for students to show off their engineering 
skills and their knowledge of solar and hydrogen technology," said Schleith.  "If 
we expect to become more energy independent as a nation, then we need to not only 
invest in renewable energy technologies, but also in our students.  After all, 
these young people are our future decision-makers." 

You can get more information on these activities at
12_std_act/ewhizolympics.htm.  There is no charge for attending the 
Olympics and cheering on these students.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central 
Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in 
the country.  Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, 
solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, 
alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy 
areas.  For more information about the center, visit or call the FSEC Public 
Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.