For Immediate Release
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
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 www.fsec.ucf.edu/ed/k
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
www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public
Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.