Over 500 students to participate in second annual Solar Grand Prix

<strong>Middle- and high-school students participating in last year’s first Solar Grand Prix</strong>

Fifth District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske and the Fifth District Solar and Sustainability Taskforce will conduct the 2nd Annual Long Beach Solar Grand Prix on Saturday, April 9, in which 149 teams comprised of more than 500 Long Beach middle- and high-school students will compete for top spots in speed and design.
Due to overwhelming student interest and registration totals for the 2011 event, the Solar Grand Prix will take place at El Dorado Park, a larger location than last year’s. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters has responded to the increase in participation and will construct an additional 10-lane track.

<strong>Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and Fifth District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske during the 2010 Solar Grand Prix</strong>

“The Solar Grand Prix provides a wonderful learning experience for Long Beach students,” said Schipske. “Students work in teams, use their creativity and employ math and science outside of the classroom, all the while gaining exposure to sustainability.”
Teams receive a solar car kit, which includes a solar panel and an electric motor. Using any other materials, competitors design and build a model solar-powered vehicle that will race on a 20-meter (65-foot) racecourse. The winner of the competition will be the team whose vehicle is the top finisher in a series of head-to-head elimination rounds. Students can also win awards for the most creative designs. Volunteer mentors have been assigned to help each team prepare for the race.
The day will include information and demos by exhibitors as part of the Sustainability Fair, and food can be purchased from local food trucks.
To volunteer, contact the Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske at (562) 570-6932 or district5@longbeach.gov.

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