By Sherri Shields
April 8, 2015
The 13th annual EnergyWhiz, a daylong event showcasing student-built energy projects. These hands-on renewable energy activities expose students to alternative energy fuel sources and encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.
More than 800 elementary, middle, high school and college students from across Florida will participate in the University of Central Florida/ Florida Solar Energy Center event.
Brevard County Parks and Recreation, in partnership with FSEC, is sponsoring the EcoLiving Jubilee, where various energy and environmental organizations will be on site to share information about their products and services.
- In the Horizon Hydrogen Automotive Challenge, student teams build and race a 1:10 scale, remote controlled, hydrogen fuel cell car. The goal is to complete the most laps within the six-hour timeframe. The race begins at 8:45 a.m., and will be located at Travis Park.
- The Energy Innovations program (10:00 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. In addition, teams create marketing pieces—such as brochures, fliers, and posters—to accompany their products.
- The Hydrogen Challenge (10:00 a.m.) for students in grades 6 through 12, provide opportunities for student teams to explore hydrogen through hands-on engineering. Students demonstrate an understanding of hydrogen through a creative timing apparatus built with several Rube Goldberg-type steps.
- The Critter Comfort Cottage demonstrates student understanding of energy efficient and eco-friendly building design for a pet of their choosing. From Arachnids to Swallows, you will be amazed! Projects will be on display beginning at 10 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 (1:00 p.m.) challenges students in grades 4 through 12 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.
- The Electrathon (10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.) is a competition for high school students and older. The go-cart-type vehicles, powered by an electric motor and batteries, must be skillfully designed, built and driven to maximize distance traveled within a given time limit.
Saturday, May 2, 2015
9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Competitions are from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., with an awards ceremony following.
The public is encouraged to attend, free of charge.
Florida Solar Energy Center
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703
Located on Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa Campus
For more information, visit: http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/k-12/energywhiz_olympics/index.htm, or watch a video about EnergyWhiz at http://vimeo.com/9522310.
Photographs from previous years events available upon request.
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 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 http://www.floridaenergycenter.org or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.
UCF Stands For Opportunity: The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that ranks as the 2nd largest in the nation with more than 58,000 students. UCF’s first classes were offered in 1968. The university offers impressive academic and research environments that power the region’s economic development. UCF’s culture of opportunity is driven by our diversity, Orlando environment, history of entrepreneurship and our youth, relevance and energy. For more information, visit http://news.ucf.edu.