The upcoming World Solar Challenge has entries from the world’s top technology-oriented universities. However, as with previous years (and as the film Race the Sun celebrates), some high schools are also participating in this highly competitive race. By my count, there are four. At this level, even just building a car that qualifies for a starting position is a major achievement for a high school, and these students are hoping to do a lot more than that! We wish them all the very best.
Goko High School (Japan)
Goko High School entered the Cruiser class in 2013, but their nice-looking car sadly lost its rear wheels just outside of Alice Springs. This year, their solar car (25, Musoushin) is in the Challenger class, competing against their compatriots from Tokai University, as well as other universities around the world.
Ardingly College (UK)
Ardingly College is an independent co-educational boarding and day school located in Ardingly, West Sussex (photo above by Dave Spicer). Their solar car (43, Ardingly Solar Car) is entered in the Cruiser class. Students on the team include Matthew Price (Team Manager), Holly Hill (Mechanics Manager), Lennart Flür (IT Manager), Johannes Jebsen (Business Manager), and Ellie Haines (Marketing Manager). The team is on Twitter.
Houston School District (USA)
Houston School District (from the small town in Mississippi, not the large city in Texas) has competed in the World Solar Challenge before (though not in 2013), and has won the High School Solar Car Challenge Open Division every year since 2001. Their solar car (20, Sundancer) is entered in the Adventure class. The team is on Facebook and Twitter.
Liberty Christian School (USA)
Liberty Christian School is a private school located in Argyle, Texas. The team is on Facebook and Twitter. Their solar car (34, Solis Bellator) is also entered in the Adventure class, competing against The Petroleum Institute from the UAE and TAFE South Australia.
Our best wishes are with all four teams. And, whatever happens during the race, I’m sure the students will have had an exciting and educational experience and an excellent preparation for further education and for their future careers. Any smart employer would look favourably on a graduate with this kind of experience on their C.V.