The ninth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics is a daylong event showcasing student projects in alternative energy. Activities include Energy Innovations, Hydrogen Sprint, Hands-On-Hydrogen, Junior Solar Sprint and Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff.
More than 650 Florida elementary, middle and high school students – from as far as Tallahassee and Miami – will participate starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7, at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center. FSEC is located at Brevard Community College’s Cocoa Campus, 1679 Clearlake Road. The public is invited to attend free of charge.
Hands-on renewable energy competitions expose students to alternative energy fuel sources, and they encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.
- The Energy Innovations program (10 a.m.) is a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge for middle and high school students. Each participating team designs and constructs a product or artistic work fully powered by photovoltaics (PV), also called solar electric cells. Teams also create marketing pieces – such as brochures, fliers, and posters – to accompany their products.
- The Hydrogen Sprint (11 a.m.) for high school students, and the Hands-On-Hydrogen (H-O-H) competition for middle school students, provide opportunities for student teams to explore hydrogen fuel-cells by designing, building and racing model-sized cars. Several of the H-O-H teams also competed in the middle school science bowl, where they received their free fuel cell kit from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Hydrogen Sprint teams also share their hydrogen knowledge through creative presentation or performance (9:30 a.m.).
- The Junior Solar Sprint (11:30 a.m.) is a competition that challenges middle-school students to design, build and race model solar cars. Awards are given based on vehicle design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and vehicle speed.
- The Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff (2 p.m.) challenges students in grades 4 through 8 to design and build solar cookers and cook a recipe of their own creation using the power of the sun. In Top Chef-style, each dish will be judged by a panel of experts based on taste, ingredients and creativity.
For more information, visit
or view a video about the EnergyWhiz Olympics at http://vimeo.com/9522310.
Susan Schleith, FSEC Education Coordinator, at 321-638-1017 or Susan@fsec.ucf.edu.
The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research institute in the country. Current divisions and their research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating and solar electric and distributed generation systems. For more information about the center, visit www.floridaenergycenter.org or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.