PHOTOS: Students Take Solar Powered Cars to the Track

The fifth grade solar car project is a tradition at Groveland Elementary School.

The solar car decorated to look like a watermelon came from behind to win its first match in the solar car tournament. The team of three fifth grade girls who designed the car with the help of their parents called it the Super Extravagant Delicious Solar car, or S.E.E.D.S. for short. It took a period of days for them to finish building their car.

Fifth graders from arrived at on June 5 to test their solar cars. Brent Frank, one of the fifth grade teachers, explained that students signed up for the project in teams of two or three. Each team received a kit, which consisted of gears, axels, motor, and solar panels. On a sunny day, the solar panels give off 3 volts of electricity, he said.

The hot, sunny day provided good conditions for the tournament. Some students had worked on their cars for weeks while others finished in a few days. About 100 students raced 41 cars, Frank said, the most cars they have had in the project’s several-year history.

Parents and students cheered or gasped as cars raced down the track or didn't move at all. Two fifth grade girls, who named their car Black Pearl, watched the tournament anxiously. They were excited to race, but hoped their car wouldn't suffer any mishaps.

A few of the races were too close to call and had to be repeated, but in the end only one team and one car could win. This year car #11 won the race, and three fifth grade girls could call themselves champions.


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