×

South Meadow School takes top prize at Solar Sprint for the 10th year in a row

  • Middle Schoolers compete during the 10th Annual Monadnock Regional Junior Solar Sprint at Adams Playground in Peterborough on Thursday morning. —Courtesy photo

  • Middle Schoolers compete during the 10th Annual Monadnock Regional Junior Solar Sprint at Adams Playground in Peterborough on Thursday morning. —Courtesy photo

  • The 10th Annual Monadnock Regional Junior Solar Sprint was held on Thursday at Adams Playground in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Courtesy photo

  • Aiden Demetrion of Greenfield examines his solar car, “The Wild Bobcat,” during the 10th Annual Monadnock Regional Junior Solar Sprint was held on Thursday at Adams Playground in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Courtesy photo

  • Carter Rousseau of Dublin and Caleb Cloutier of Dublin took the prize for the fastest car with “The Coker Car” at the 10th Annual Monadnock Regional Junior Solar Sprint was held on Thursday at Adams Playground in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Courtesy photo



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, June 04, 2018 12:54PM

For the tenth year running, South Meadow School students returned triumphant from Thursday’s Monadnock Regional Junior Solar Sprint, having built the fastest solar car of them all. 

For the past decade, the Harris Center for Conservation has held the event at Adams Park in Peterborough, where middle-school students test out their engineering skills by building a model car that runs off solar energy to pit them against their peers to discover the fastest. Students cobble together their cars from all manner of things – soda cans, juice boxes, popsicle sticks, tape – and in addition to speed, there are also prizes awarded for innovation and design. But the main prize, and the big trophy, goes to the top contenders in speed.

“They had to work for it this year,” said South Meadow School integrated art and technology teacher Dwain Hammett. “The other teams were creeping up.”

The cars are powered with solar cells, and that can create interesting challenges, said Hammett.

“Basically, often times, there are a lot of times that the cars aren’t even functional,” said Hammett. “If your car is moving, that’s half the battle.”

This year, the Coker Car, built by Dublin 7th graders Carter Rousseau and Caleb Cloutier, took the top prize. Designed with a bright red finish to complement their Coca-Cola can body, the duo said that the second place winners, Marshall Roof, Kieran Norman and Jonah Frost of Keene Middle School, were nipping at their heels.

“They beat us in the third race,” said Cloutier. “But we managed to pull through.”

South Meadow School also won the Innovation Award, with Katherine Craig and Avery Beard taking the award, which Hammett said is another aspect of the competition.

“When they’re making their cars, I encourage them to bring materials from home and think creatively. I like to see that innovative part,” said Hammett. “Some cars may have merits that aren’t speed, but they might be innovative or creative.”

That innovation is emphasized in a special race that was started last year: The Junkyard Wars, where students have to build the car from scratch during the race.

This year, the Junkyard War Race winners were Zach Coll, Eli Richardson and Gabe Paige of Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School.

Solar Sprint 2018 WinnersSpeed:

1st Place: Caleb Cloutier and Carter Rousseau, South Meadow School, “Coker Car”

2nd Place: Marshall Roof, Kieran Norman and Jonah Frost, Keene Middle School, “Clout Hunter”

3rd Place: Koa Schutte, Rowan Holmes and Aiden Fauth, Keene Middle School, “Richard”

Best Craftsmanship:

Draven Seppala and Kolyn Soviole, Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School, “I’ll Have to Check With Draven”

Most Innovative:

Katherine Craig and Avery Beard, South Meadow School, “Deer Friends”

Best Use of Technology:

Sullivan Gray and Aldan Cavanaugh, St. Joseph Regional School, “Bald Eagle”

Kid’s Choice Award:

Cody Beregnone, Preston Smith and Georgie Panananas, “There’s Something In Lane 2”

Junkyard War Race:

Zach Coll, Eli Richardson and Gabe Paige, “That Big Mess”

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.