Southern Rivers Energy, in partnership with Green Power EMC, sponsors the Junior Solar Sprint at both Lamar and Pike County Middle Schools. Students use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation, and teamwork to design and build small, solar-powered model cars then put their engineering skills to the test on the racetrack. Speed, design, and creativity are all factors in determining the winning vehicles.
The goals of the Junior Solar Sprint include:
- Generating enthusiasm for science and engineering at a crucial stage in the educational development of young people.
- Improving students' understanding of scientific concepts and renewable energy technologies; and
- Encouraging young people to consider technical careers at an early age.
The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association.
The Junior Solar Sprint is designed to educate students about solar power, math, and engineering in a fun and interactive environment.
Southern Rivers Energy is also helping educate future generations about the benefits and challenges surrounding renewables. Through Green Power EMC's Energy Education program, SRE partnered with Lamar and Pike County Schools to install a 1 kilowatt (kW) grid-tied photovoltaic system on the school grounds. The system harnesses energy from the sun and allows students to monitor its data from the classroom, comparing weather patterns with output.
Participating students have seen firsthand why it’s important to have reliable power sources like coal, nuclear, or gas as a backup for solar because only cloudy days when the sun isn’t shining, there is little to no output from the solar panels.
SRE coordinates with the school principals and science teachers to make the Junior Solar Sprint a reality by providing all the kits and materials for the cars with the help of a grant from Green Power EMC.