Junior Solar Sprint

Program Category: Accepting Mentors, Fee Structure, Free, Grade Level, 3 - 6, and 7 - 8Program Tags: solar energy, sustainability, and Career

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  • The Junior Solar Sprint, a STEM education and engagement event, is open to all middle and junior high schools in the Philadelphia region.  Typically 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders design, build and race model solar cars that meet the specifications of the national Junior Solar Sprint.  PSEA’s event day is usually held on a Saturday in May, and draws more than 200 students and their parents, siblings and friends, for a total of approximately 500 people from as many as 20 schools across the region.  The next race will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2019 on the Drexel Quad, at 31st and Market Streets.

    The Junior Solar Sprint is sponsored by the Philadelphia Solar Energy Association (PSEA), a volunteer based, nonprofit organization.  PSEA volunteers have made a number of videos of the race, similar to this one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZjTmso7T-E

    The Solar Sprint has helped inspire several thousand Philadelphia-area youth to pursue advanced education and careers in the sciences over the past 20 years. PSEA is especially proud of the diversity of participants. Our message promoting clean, renewable energy is extended to hundreds of spectators, as well as the parents, teachers, and friends who report, increasingly on social media, on how they succeeded at making a solar-powered car!  All schools, public, private, and even home schools and cyber schools can participate.

    Drexel University is partnering with PSEA to engage its students as volunteers and to expand the event to reach many more schools and have an even greater public education impact.   PSEA members, consisting of solar professionals, engineers, artists and others volunteer hundreds of hours every year to produce this valuable public education event.

    PSEA provides free teacher training workshops beginning in the fall.  For more information, contact Liz Robinson, lizhrob2@gmail.com.


    Organization Name: Philadelphia Solar Energy Association
    Organization Street Address: 566 Jamestown Street
    Organization City, State, Zip: Philadelphia, PA 19128
    Organization Phone Number: 2152852710
    Short Description of Organization:

    The Philadelphia Solar Energy Association is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the use of solar energy through public education, engagement, advocacy and training.

    Program Street Address: 566 Jamestown Street
    Program Phone Number: 2152852710
    Which one best describes your organization?: Non-Profit
    Which one best describes your program?: Site-based - stationary (students come to a site)
    Is your program delivered in collaboration with external partners?: Yes
    If you answered yes to the last question ("l"), please list those partners.:

    Drexel University

    Accepting Mentors: Yes


    Is STEM the "core" of your program?: Yes
    Which type of STEM programming do you offer? (choose ALL that apply):
    • Engineering
    • Environment Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    Which other activities does your STEM program include? (choose All that apply):
    • Civic Engagement and Service-Learning
    • Project-Based Learning
    Does your program use volunteer STEM mentors?: Yes


    Where is your STEM program offered? (choose ALL that apply):
    • Center City
    • South Philadelphia
    • Southwest Philadelphia
    • West Philadelphia
    • Lower North Philadelphia
    • Bridesburg-Kensington-Richmond
    • Roxborough-Manayunk
    • Germantown-Chestnut Hill
    • Olney-Oak Lane
    • Near Northeast Philadelphia
    • Far Northeast Philadelphia
    • Other
    If you chose "other" for the question above then tell us where your program is offered.:

    entire Philadelphia region

    When does your STEM program take place? (choose ALL that apply):
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Spring
    • During school
    • After school
    • Weekend


    How many children does your program serve each year? Numbers can be estimates.: 101-500 individuals
    How many hours/week does each child participate? Numbers can be estimates, and can be specific to a season or semester.: Less than 2 hours per week
    Which ages/grades does your STEM program serve? (choose ALL that apply):
    • 3rd - 6th grade
    • 7th - 8th grade
    Which gender(s) does your STEM program serve? (choose ALL that apply):
    • Girls
    • Boys
    • Transgender and Gender Non Conforming
    Which ethnic/racial populations does your STEM program serve?:
    • African-American
    • Latino
    • Caucasian
    • Asian
    • Native American
    • Middle Eastern
    • Multi-Ethnic
    What percentage of your participants are eligible for free or reduced lunch? Percentages can be estimates.*: Do not know
    Who can participate in your STEM program?: Individuals and groups
    Can your STEM program accommodate youth with special needs?: No


    Do participants need to pay for your STEM program?: No
    Is transportation to and from your program provided?: No students must provide their own transportation.


    Please place your additional comments in the section below.:

    PSEA provides free teacher trainings and all the information teachers need to learn how to teach their students to build model solar cars and compete in the annual Junior Solar Sprint. These trainings can be scheduled to meet the teachers' needs.


    Please select the applicable categories: Accepting Mentors, Fee Structure, Free, Grade Level, 3 - 6, and 7 - 8
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