Posts Tagged ‘EnergyWhiz Olympics’

Renewable Energy Student Teams Energized Even on a Cloudy Day

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

COCOA, May 09, 2013— With clouds in the sky and all eyes on the weather, more than 600 elementary, middle and high school students were energized on Saturday, May 4th. Student teams—from Key West to as far away as North Carolina—gathered at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday to demonstrate their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) skills by competing at the 11th annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III speaks into megaphone.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III welcomes crowd to EnergyWhiz Olympics.

The daylong event started out cloudy and posed challenges to the solar-dependent competitions, especially the Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off and the Junior Solar Sprint (solar-powered model car) teams. Although weather conditions were less than ideal, the sun managed to peek through the clouds and provide just enough energy for the teams to get through the solar competitions. And although Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge, depend on the sun for their complete product demonstration, teams also created marketing pieces—such as brochures, fliers, and posters—to promote their product.

Judges talking to students around full-size photovoltaic panel.

Judges discuss Energy Innovations project, "Sunfisher," with Edgewood Jr/Sr High team.

Fortunately, the rain held off until later in the day, allowing the Battery Assisted Transport (B.A.T.) Mobile, model-size electric cars, and the Electrathon, go-cart size electric cars, to compete without incident.

The Hydrogen Challenge, located indoors, attracted a large audience as students demonstrated their understanding of energy transfers through a custom-built Rube Goldberg-type apparatus. “The phenomenally creative and intricate contraptions were a challenge to judge,” said Eric Hoepnner, former middle school science teacher. Built with a hydrogen fuel cell in one of the steps, the timed machines were judged on accuracy, innovation, complexity, technical sophistication, and their use of fuel cell technology. Nearly doubling in size from last year, this event is expected to have even more participants next year. “There’s a huge coolness factor with this event,” Hoeppner added.

Students knelt down on yellow track watching model electric cars race side-by-side while crowd watches.

Students race their B.A.T. Mobiles

These hands-on renewable energy competitions expose students to alternative energy fuel sources and encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.

Susan Schleith, energy education director at FSEC says, “As our event continues to grow each year, my goal is to establish regional events around the state, with the ultimate competition taking place at FSEC. This would allow even more students to participate, and create a broadened awareness statewide. Tight school budgets and travel costs provide challenges that some student teams just can’t overcome.”

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Students’ Bright Ideas Shine at EnergyWhiz Olympics

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

COCOA, May 11, 2011 – Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of the world’s greatest energy challenges, and their solutions were demonstrated Saturday at the ninth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

More than 900 students throughout Florida converged Saturday, May 7 at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa to compete in the day-long competition showcasing student projects in alternative fuel technologies.

Solar Energy Cookoff teams were judged for their cooker's design.

Solar Energy Cookoff teams were judged on their cooker's design and the dish they cooked.

Events included the Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, a solar cooker design and cooking contest; the Junior Solar Sprint, model-size solar car races; the High School Hydrogen Sprint and Hands-On-Hydrogen, model-size hydrogen-powered car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge. (more…)

Students Shine at EnergyWhiz Olympics

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of our world’s greatest energy challenges, and their renewable energy solutions were demonstrated at the EnergyWhiz Olympics – a series of day-long activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuel technologies.

Nearly 700 students throughout Florida converged at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa on Saturday, May 9, 2009 to compete in the seventh-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics. Events included the new Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, a solar cooker and cooking contest; the Junior Solar Sprint, model-size solar car races; the High School Hydrogen Sprint, model-size hydrogen fuel cell car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Renewable Energy Solutions Demonstrated by Students at EnergyWhiz Olympics on Saturday, May 9

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

WHAT:
The seventh-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics is a series of day-long activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuels. It is composed of the Junior Solar Sprint, Hydrogen Sprint, Energy Innovations and the new Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off.

  • The Junior Solar Sprint is a competition that challenges middle school students to design, build and race model solar cars. Awards are given based on vehicle design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and vehicle speed.
  • The Hydrogen Sprint is a high school competition that provides opportunities for students to explore hydrogen power with a hands-on design component and a presentation.
  • The Energy Innovations program is a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge for middle and high school students. Each participating team designs and constructs a product or artistic work fully powered by photovoltaics (PV), also called solar electric cells. Teams also create marketing pieces, such as brochures, fliers, and posters, to accompany their products.
  • The Bright House Solar Energy Cook-Off challenges students, in grades 4th – 8th, to design and build solar cookers, and to also cook a recipe of their own creation using the power of the sun.  In Top Chef-style, each dish will be judged by a panel of experts based on taste, ingredients and creativity.

WHY:
These hands-on renewable energy competitions – for elementary, middle and high school students – expose students to alternative energy fuel sources, and encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.

WHO:
More than 650 elementary, middle, and high school Florida students – from Tallahassee to Miami and everywhere in between – will participate in the EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Number of Teams in Each Competition –
Junior Solar Sprint:  60
Hydrogen Sprint:  13
Energy Innovations:  12
Solar Cook-off:  46

WHEN:
Saturday, May 9 starting at 9 a.m.

9:00 a.m.    Welcome – Auditorium
Dr. James Fenton, Director, Florida Solar Energy Center

9:30 a.m.    Technical Judging Begins – Junior Solar Sprint, Hydrogen Sprint
Hydrogen Sprint Presentations
Energy Innovations Displays Open to Public
Solar Energy Cook-Off – Design Judging
Solar Cookers – Displays Open to Public

11:30 a.m.    Energy Innovations Judging – Middle School Teams

12 noon    Energy Innovations Judging – High School Teams
Junior Solar Sprint Race Begins (Track Area 1)

1:00 p.m.    Hydrogen Sprint Race Begins (Track Area 2)

2:00 p.m.    Solar Energy Cook-Off – Recipe Judging (Auditorium)

3:30 p.m.    Awards Ceremony (Auditorium)

WHERE:
Florida Solar Energy Center, 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

For more information on these exciting educational events, visit
http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/k-12/events/ewhiz_olympics.htm or view a video about the EnergyWhiz Olympics at http://vimeo.com/982597.

Contact Susan Schleith, FSEC Education Coordinator, at 321-638-1017 or Susan@fsec.ucf.edu.

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PR09-07

Teachers Learn A Life-Saving Skill: How to Build a Solar Cooker

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

What does an umbrella, inner tube and mylar blanket have in common?  They are all components of innovative solar cooker designs.

Seventeen teachers came to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa this past Saturday, from as far away as Sarasota and Port St. Lucie, to learn how to build solar cookers.

Teachers learn how to construct solar cookers from everyday items such as an umbrella.

Teachers learn how to construct solar cookers from everyday items such as an umbrella.

Working in teams, the teachers constructed five different solar cookers.  Each design used common household items in creative ways, including an umbrella, inner tube, and plant stand, to name just a few.  Armed with new information, strategies and inspiration, these teachers will work with their students to build a variety of solar cookers.  The student-designed and built cookers will be on display at the Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off at FSEC’s EnergyWhiz Olympics on May 9. In Top Chef style, student teams will also submit a food cooked in their solar cooker to be judged by a panel of experts.
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EnergyWhiz Olympics on May 3 at the Florida Solar Energy Center

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Cocoa, Fla. – Hundreds of students from more than 60 schools across Florida will participate in the sixth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The EnergyWhiz Olympics, sponsored by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, highlights the science and engineering skills of middle school and high school students as they participate in activities related to the real-world issue of energy.

“This event provides students with a great opportunity to develop and show off their engineering skills and their knowledge of emerging energy concepts,” said Susan Schleith, project manager for the EnergyWhiz Olympics. “Each year we have more schools participating, and it’s great to know that students are taking a real interest in alternative energy.” (more…)

EnergyWhiz Olympics to be Held at FSEC on Saturday May 12

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

More than 80 school teams featuring hundreds of students from around the state will participate in the fifth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics again this year at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

The 2007 event will be held Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m.  The center is located on the campus of Brevard Community College/UCF at 1679 Clearlake Road in Cocoa.

Each year, students from elementary through high school take part in the competitions that feature alternative fuels in the Junior Solar Sprint, Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen demonstration, High School Hydrogen Sprint and Energy Innovations competition. (more…)

EnergyWhiz Olympics to be Held at FSEC on Saturday

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

The popular EnergyWhiz Olympics, featuring daylong events for hundreds of students from around the state, will be held at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) on Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. until about 4 p.m. The center is at 1679 Clearlake Road in Cocoa.

Each year, hundreds of students from elementary through high school take part in the competitions that feature alternative fuels in the Junior Solar Sprint, Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen Demonstration and High School Hydrogen Sprint. Susan Schleith, who directs these activities for FSEC, noted that there are 49 teams signed up for this year’s Junior Solar Sprint, eight returning teams for the Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen competition and 10 teams for the High School Hydrogen Sprint. (more…)

Florida Solar Energy Center Announces Winners of EnergyWhiz Olympics

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

The annual EnergyWhiz Olympics, a day-long series of activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuels, was held at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa on Saturday, May 7.

The day’s three featured events were the Junior Solar Sprint competition (JSS), the High School Hydrogen Sprint competition and the second phase of the Florida Middle School Science Bowl: the Hands-on Hydrogen Demonstration. (more…)

EnergyWhiz Olympics to be Held at FSEC on Saturday, May 7

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

The annual EnergyWhiz Olympics, a series of day-long activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuels, will be held at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 9 a.m.

The day’s events will include the Junior Solar Sprint competition, the High School Hydrogen Sprint competition and the second portion of the Florida Middle School Science Bowl — the Hands-on Hydrogen Demonstration. (more…)