High school students from across the country and Mexico are on a 1,600-mile race in hand-built, solar-powered cars. The 10th annual Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge started today in Round Rock, Texas, and will wind its way through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona en route to the finish line at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
There are 180 students participating in the race from high schools in Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Indiana, California and Mexico. The California team is represented by students from Walnut High School in Walnut, Calif. The 16 students on Walnut High's "QuikSolar" team have been preparing for the competition for more than a year, applying the skills they've learned in the classroom to design and build their solar car.
Racers will use laptop computers and wireless technology to gauge solar car battery usage, monitor weather patterns, track competitors via global positioning systems and upload daily statistics. The race judges will also use the technology to track the eight teams as they travel along the course.
The last leg of the race runs from Citrus College in Glendora, Calif., to the finish at JPL on Saturday, July 16. The public is invited to watch the end of the race. A complete map of the race route is on the Internet at www.winstonsolar.org/race/route2005.shtml
For more information on the race on the Internet, visit: www.winstonsolar.org/race
Explore further: Dawn spacecraft captures best-ever view of dwarf planet