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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Informational Letters > Letter 80





TO:                Superintendents of Schools and School Principals

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

DATE:             February 27, 2007

RE:                 Junior Solar Sprint Model Solar Car Competition


            I have been asked by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to share the following information with each of you as there may be some interest in this competition among your faculty and middle school students.  Good luck to all those who chose to participate!



Dear Friends of the Junior Solar Sprint:

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN!  Below is updated information about this year’s program.  An order form can be found at:   

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Junior Solar Sprint Model Solar Car Competition is intended for middle school students.  We appreciate that schools define middle school grades differently and are flexible with that, as long as the car building challenge is developmentally within reach of the kids.    Also, we are supportive of the participation of younger students from multiage learning groups (such as home schools, alternative schools, etc.) if the children are engaged and able.  As far as ordering materials, we will continue to offer both the Solar World and Pitsco solar panels.  The more expensive Pitsco panel is conceded to be the more durable, although the Solar World panel has held up pretty well.  SCHOOLS NEW TO THE PROGRAM (or veteran schools with three or fewer panels) WILL BE ABLE TO PURCHASE UP TO FIVE CAR KITS AT A REDUCED RATE.  Also, new schools should be aware that it is not necessary to purchase a solar panel for each car team (2-4 students), as panels are removable and can be loaned to racing vehicles.  (Call or email to discuss this further.)   It is vital, however, to have one motor for each team (and a few others, just in case).  While it is important to have the kids scrounge for construction stuff---chassis materials, wheels, axles, gears, pulleys--- you should realistically plan on purchasing commercial materials as well.  PITSCO , KELVIN, and THE SCIENCE SOURCE are possibilities.

Important Dates


Materials Delivered to Schools


Annual FREE teacher workshop on car building at the Owls Head

Transportation Museum---HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for new teachers


Qualifying races around the State


State Championship at Owls Head


Northeastern Championship, Springfield, Massachusetts
Have fun………and thank you for your involvement with this program.


Peter Zack, Jr.
Director, Maine Energy Education Program   
(207) 625-7833