- Students Celebrated a Sunny, Windy 20th Solar Boat Regatta
Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES)
Middle school and high school teams and the first-ever elementary teamıa total of 11 teams with 16 boats--competed in the MRES 20th Annual Solar Boat Regatta May 19 on Lake Phalen in St. Paul. Twelve boats entered the student class, and four entered the experimental class. The regatta included slalom and speed races as well as an hour-long endurance trial.
A built-from-scratch solar boat from Discovery Middle School in Alexandria, the Discovery II, won the student class in this yearıs MRES Solar Boat Regatta. A student searching the internet found the plans for that boat. Itıs that kind of problem-solving and teamwork, plus the technical learning, that makes the regatta a valuable learning experience, says John Holmen, a Discovery teacher.
A converted kayak from Orono High School, the O.S.E.K. (for Orono Solar Electric Kayak) won the experimental class. Orono senior Tommy Good, whoıs been involved in MRES regattas for five years, says MRES ımade my high school career by having this race.ı The regatta experience teaches about careers ranging from project manager to engineer, he notes.
Itıs the thank you's and the learning that make the regatta a worthwhile MRES project, says Doug Shoemaker, longtime regatta coordinator, and co-coordinator Jennifer Birkholz. To see some boats in action and hear more about what makes the regatta a great experience, see the MN 2020 video about the 20th regatta.
Winners in the student class were: first, Discovery Middle School from Alexandria, with Discovery II, and second, City Academy from St. Paul, with Battleship. Winners in the experimental class were: Orono High School with their boat O.S.E.K. (Orono Solar Electric Kayak) and second, Orono Middle School, with a boat dubbed The Unknown. The O.S.E.K. will be the only high school entrant in the Solar Splash national college regatta in June.
Again this year, we had students from African, Asian, Hispanic and other backgrounds; colorful boats with names like Speedy Banana; and boats made from all kinds of material--from kayak pieces to 55-gallon drums. More entries this year were from greater Minnesota. An estimated 100 students participated in the event, with a total crowd of 180.
Because of the wind, Shock Electric was unable to offer free rides on a solar pontoon. Izzyıs Ice Cream Cafe provided Izzy pops from their store in Saint Paul, which has a solar array on the roof. MTEA (Minnesota Technology Education Association) helped provide trophies for all participants. See all our sponsors who made this event possible at the bottom of the regatta page on our website.
Thanks again to the volunteers who helped throughout the day.
Additional experimental class entries were from: Royalton High School and Virginia Public Schools.
Additional student class entries were from: City Academy (St. Paul), Discovery Middle School (Alexandria), Odyssey Academy (Brooklyn Center), Orono Middle, Rochester STEM Academy, Roosevelt High School (Minneapolis), Richfield STEM Elementary School, Sanford Middle School (Minneapolis), School of Environmental Studies (Apple Valley) and Virginia Public Schools.
For more information visit http://mnrenewables.org/node/1181
- Posted: 6/7/12
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