And Then There’s the Subject of Ingenuity!
One year, returning for the second leg of the endurance race,
one skipper discovered a steering malfunction in which his boat
could no longer make right turns, which is required throughout
He signals back to the shore, messaging his team that he
can’t make right-hand turns.
Immediately, the skipper realizes that he can make complete
left hand turns in order to go right, making a big circle back
around in the direction he needs to go.
“Obviously, that team didn’t win, but the skipper figured out
how to keep participating; that’s the kind of kid we want to come
back and work with us at the Metropolitan Water District,” noted a
Water District spokesperson.
Many were in attendance at the Solar
Cup races in Southern California.
building on the original ideas with
emphasis on more electronics, the
motors, stability, affixing the solar panels on to the boats, and engineering a
steering and drive train.
A lot of education about
propellers comes into play, as these
are hard for kids to figure out without
a lot of help. “They don’t understand
that when the diameter of the
propellers changes and the number of
the blades change, it affects the boat,”
says Miller. The workshop also
provides wiring examples and
hands-on training for completing the
wiring aspects of boat construction.
According to Professor Herder,
the specific subjects covered include:
• Basic electrical theory: Ohm’s law,
the power law, Kirchoff’s voltage and
current circuit laws, series and parallel
circuits, solar panel characteristics and
ratings, motor control circuits, motor
and motor controller characteristics,
event and the many hurdles to getting
into the races this year.
By teaching the students about
water conservation and resource
management and by reinforcing the
scarcity of and responsibility for these
resources, the program prepares
them to take on these responsibilities
as adults; some even pursue an
education or career in a related field.
Through much publicity, their parents
and the community learn many of
these lessons, too.
The veteran trophy, which
changes hands year-to-year, went to
Diamond Bar High, which earned a
near perfect score of 980 out of
1,000. Teams earn points for technical reports and workshops, visual
displays, race qualifying, and the
endurance and speed (sprint) races.
Diamond Bar has won first place
two years running. The same team
also won one of two endurance
races (of 1.2 kilometers in distance).
They also had the best veteran team
The Rookie trophy, circulated to
the new winning team each year
was won by Duarte High School,
which also won second place in the
200-meter sprint, rookie division.
Categories in which boats and
teams can place include the sprint
races, endurance races, visual displays, technical reports, the Spirit of
the Solar Cup, Teamwork, and
Hottest Looking Boat. Awards went
to Charter Oak High School of
Covina (for the veteran 200-meter
sprint races), Canyon Springs High
School of Moreno Valley (Best Visual
Display, veteran) and Lakeside High
School of Lake Ellsinore (Best Rookie
Anaheim High School took the
Bart Bezyack Spirit of Solar Cup
Award (given for sportsmanship),
Adolpho Camarillo High School
(Camarillo) tookthe Teamwork
Award, and Rancho Verde High
School of Moreno Valley took
Hottest Looking Boat (veteran).
Another double winner, Arlington
High School (Riverside) won both
the Hottest Looking (rookie), as
well as the first place (rookie) in the
Second place also went to
Canyon for veteran technical report,
Damien High of La Verne for rookie
technical report, and Jurupa Valley
Diamond Bar High winning team
and boat; winners last year and
veteran (returning competitors)
winners this year.
High of Mira Loma for veteran
endurance race. Paloma Valley High
of Menifee won rookie endurance
Complete List of 2007 Solar Cup
place winners, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
Complete List of 2007
Solar Cup Awards
August 2007 55