Innovation and Competition at the EnergyWhiz Olympics

Florida Solar Energy CenterCome see kids from all over the state of Florida share innovation through competition. The EnergyWhiz Olympics is all about clean energy and creative kids. Each year, on the first Saturday in May, hundreds of students converge at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, Florida to participate in renewable energy themed events.

Created by the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, the Energy Whiz Olympics is a forum for students to demonstrated their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills. Energy topics range from solar, thermal, photovoltaics and hydrogen technology. Competitions associated with include Energy Innovations, Hydrogen Challenge, Junior Solar Sprint, and a Solar Energy Cook-off! Bring your appetites for that last one.

More than 650 Florida elementary, middle and high school students—from as far as Tallahassee and Miami—will participate in the EnergyWhiz Olympics, starting at 9:00am at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center. FSEC is located at Brevard Community College’s Cocoa Campus on 1679 Clearlake Road. The public is invited–free of charge.

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

The tenth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics is a daylong event showcasing student projects in alternative energy. Activities include Junior Solar Sprint, Energy Innovations, Hydrogen Challenge, Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, and new this year, the Electrathon.

The Energy Innovations program (10:00am) 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 Hydrogen Challenge (10:30am) for students in grades 6 through 12, provide opportunities for student teams to explore hydrogen through hands-on engineering. Students demonstrate an understanding of hydrogen through a creative timing apparatus built with several Rube Goldberg-type steps.

The Junior Solar Sprint (11:30am) challenges middle school students to use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork to design and build high performance solar-powered model cars. Each team’s car is judged on technology, craftsmanship, innovation and appearance. And don’t miss the 20-meter track double-elimination competition!

The Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff (1:00 pm) challenges students in grades 4 through 12 to design and build solar cookers and 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.

The Electrathon (4:00 pm at Cocoa High School Stadium) is a competition for high school students and older. The go-cart-type vehicles, powered by an electric motor and batteries, must be skillfully designed, built and driven to maximize distance traveled within a given time limit.

See you there!

For more information visit FSEC at fsec.ucf.edu

For a video about the EnergyWhiz Olympics, visit at vimeo.com/9522310

And to connect with FSEC, contact Susan Schleith, FSEC Education Coordinator, at 321-638-1017

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