Zoom, Zoom- Solar cars cross the finish line

May 6, 2013

Thankfully the sun was shining brightly at the 17th Texas Solar Race Car Event held Saturday, May 4 at Gustafson Stadium.

Two hundred and twenty five teams competed from 62 Northside elementary schools.  After preliminary heats, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a final race, awards were handed out to the top 8 teams.

Congratulations to the winning teams of 2013-

1st Place- Cable Fast and Furious

2nd Place- Evers Saber Tooths

3rd Place- Cable Cannon Cubs

4th Place- Oak Hills Terrace Fire Girls

5th Place- Driggers Crushers

6th Place- Ward Pranksters

7th Place- Oak Hill Terrace Black Knights

8th Place- Steubing Diamond Swords

Northside School Board Member Bobby Blount is the long-time organizer of the event which started as a mentorship project at Rayburn Middle School to give students hands-on lessons in teamwork, renewable energy, problem-solving, and science and engineering.

“I love seeing the students’ excitement as they compete,” says Blount. “This is a real-life problem for teams to solve and it’s important that students see science and math as fun. These races help do just that.”

Solar cars is an afterschool science program for 4th and 5th grade students. They are provided a solar panel, gear box and axle rods but the rest of the car design is up to them. In addition to learning about teamwork, students are also developing their engineering skills through the design and testing process. The races are a culminating event for students who have been working for weeks designing and building miniature solar-powered cars.  

Sponsors for this year’s event were Northside Elementary Science Department, the Northside Education Foundation, the MITRE Corporation, the National Defense Education Program and Cryptologic Systems Division.