Energized Students Demonstrate Skills at the EnergyWhiz Olympics on the Space Coast


The 12th annual EnergyWhiz Olympics will bring together students from across Florida, converging in Cocoa, to showcase their renewable energy projects. Student teams will race solar cars, demonstrate creative solar and hydrogen projects, present solar oven designs and cooking skills, and reveal energy-efficient pet homes, all highlighting their energy knowledge and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM).

NEW:  An Electric Vehicle Ride & Drive—which will include a Nissan Leaf—will be available for adults to experience.

The public is invited to attend free of charge.

Also new this year is the Critter Comfort Cottage. In this competition, students (4th-12th grades) utilize energy-efficient and green building design and construction techniques to create the most cost-effective, comfortable “home” for a critter.

The Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff (4th-12th grades) challenges students to design and build solar cookers, and cook a recipe of their own creation using the power of the sun.

The Hydrogen Challenge (6th-12th grades) demonstrates a student’s understanding of energy transfers through a creative, Rube Goldberg-type apparatus that includes a hydrogen fuel cell in one of its steps.

The Junior Solar Sprint (4th-8th grades) challenges students to design, build and race model solar cars. Awards are given based on vehicle design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and vehicle speed.

The Energy Innovations program (6th-12th grades) is a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge.

The Electrathon (high school students and older) features go-cart-type vehicles, powered by an electric motor and batteries, that must be skillfully designed, built and driven to maximize distance traveled within a time limit.


More than 600 students statewide will show off their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) skills.

Approximate number of teams in each competition:
Junior Solar Sprint:  50
Hydrogen Challenge:  16
Energy Innovations:  20
Solar Cookoff:  40
Critter Comfort Cottage:  16
Electrathon:  10


Saturday, May 3, 2014
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.


UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center
On the Eastern Florida State College Cocoa Campus
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703


As the photovoltaic industry continues to grow rapidly in the U.S.—41 percent in 2013—and as alternative fueled vehicles increase in popularity and soon become mainstream, our future workforce will rely on students with strong Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) skills.

These hands-on, renewable energy competitions expose students to alternative energy fuel sources, and encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.


For interviews or additional information please contact:

Note: photographs from previous events available upon request.

For more information, visit: or watch a video at

About FSEC: 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 nation. Current divisions and their research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation fuels, batteries, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating, and photovoltaic (solar electric) systems. For more information about the center, visit or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at

America’s Partnership University: The University of Central Florida, the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation in its first 50 years. Today, the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region’s future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation. For more information, visit



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