For Immediate Release

05/29/2007

Contact: Kenneth Sheinkopf
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703
Phone: (321) 638-1007
FAX: (321) 638-1010
 
EnergyWhiz Olympics at Florida Solar Energy Center-UCF
 
More than 300 students and teachers from throughout Florida participated in the 2007
EnergyWhiz Olympics at the Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday, May 12. Events
included solar car races, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle races, a photovoltaic design
competition called "Energy Innovations" and a solar-powered boat demonstration.
 
Students from elementary through high schools took part in the alternative fuel
competitions. The largest event, with 61 teams, was the Junior Solar Sprint.
Middle-school students designed and built model-sized, solar-powered vehicles, which
they raced during the competition. Awards were given to the top performing vehicles
based on design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and speed.

Eight returning teams that scored the highest in an academic bowl held in April
participated in the Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen competition, the
second part of the Southeast Regional Science Bowl. The finalists were required to
design and build a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to qualify for the National Science
Bowl competition. The top academic team, Lincoln Middle School from Gainesville,
will represent the Southeastern United States in the national competition to be held
in June in Denver.

The High School Hydrogen Sprint competition demonstrated to the students the
potential of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source. This program also allowed
graduates of the Junior Solar Sprint to continue designing and building
alternative-fueled vehicles. The 11 participating high school teams designed and
built the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles they raced. The teams also presented 10-minute
lessons on a variety of hydrogen research topics.

In the newest competition, "Energy Innovations," teams from across Florida developed
full-scale working solar electric designs. In addition, these middle and high school
students developed marketing and promotional materials to educate consumers about
the students' engineering achievements.

"Energy Innovations is a real-world design competition," said Susan Schleith,
education coordinator for FSEC. "The program was a collaborative effort between BP
Solar, the Florida Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation and the Florida
Solar Energy Center. BP donated more than 15 photovoltaic arrays to FlaSEREF, which
collaborated with FSEC to distribute the systems to schools throughout Florida
through the EnergyWhiz program."

Also featured were a solar boat demonstration and Exemplary Projects in Energy and
Conservation (EPEC).  These award-winning science fair projects produced by local
students all had a renewable energy or conservation theme. 

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 and fuel cells. For more information, visit 
www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.

 
EnergyWhiz statistics
283 students
43 teachers
61 Junior Solar Sprint teams
10 Hydrogen Teams
7  Science Bowl - Hands-on Hydrogen Teams
4 Energy Innovations Teams

AND THE WINNERS ARE

Junior Solar Sprint winners:
Best Design
1st  - #33 - Mercurial Tiger, Tuskawilla Montessori Academy,  Oviedo
2nd  - #26 - Ra Reaper, St. James Cathedral School, Orlando
3rd  - #51 Little Bandit, Lewis Carroll Elementary, Merritt Island

Most Innovative
1st  - #26 - Ra Reaper, St. James Cathedral School, Orlando
2nd  - #8 - The Sunburn, Sacred Heart Catholic Homeschool, Merritt Island
3rd  - #33 - Mercurial Tiger, Tuskawilla Montessori Academy, Oviedo

Race - 6th grade
1st - #34 - The King, Tuskawilla Montessori Academy, Oviedo
2nd - #39 - Eagle 1, Horizon Middle, Kissimmee
3rd - #50 - Da Bomb, Lewis Carroll Elementary, Merritt Island

Race - 7th grade
1st - #13 Solar Roller, Jupiter Middle School of Technology, Jupiter
2nd - #44 Minutemen III, Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr High School, Cocoa Beach
3rd - #54 Benchwarmers, Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology, Spring Hill

Race - 8th grade
1st - #32 God of War, Tuskawilla Montessori Academy, Oviedo
2nd - #7 Sunny, Warner Christian Academy, Daytona
3rd - #12 Nameless and Shameless, Jupiter Middle School of Technology, Jupiter

Hands-on Hydrogen
Design
1st - #2 Absent Mindstein, Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park

Race
1st - #3 The Challenger, Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School, Cocoa
2nd - #4  Enigma  Tuskawilla Montessori Academy, Oviedo
3rd - #2 Absent Mindstein, Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park
 
Hydrogen Sprint
1st  - Overall - Three way tie -
#10 Pink Pandas, Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr High School, Cocoa Beach
#7 -  Jupiter High School, Jupiter
#3 Catalyst, Lakewood High School, St. Petersburg
2nd Overall - #6 Sparklemotion, Indian River Charter High School, Vero Beach
3rd Overall - #2 Hydrogen Hotties, Lakewood High School, St. Petersburg

1st - Vehicle Performance - #3 Lakewood High School, St. Petersburg

1st - Presentation - #10, Pink Pandas - Cocoa Beach Jr/Sr High, Cocoa Beach

1st - Design - #7  - Jupiter High School, Jupiter

Energy Innovations
1st High School - Edgewood Jr/Sr High School, Merritt Island
2nd High School - Manatee Technical Institute, Bradenton

1st Middle School - Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology, Spring Hill
2nd Middle School - Ronald McNair Magnet School, Cocoa

Wow! Award - Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology, Spring Hill