05-29-12 LBHS Students Solar Cup Team Students Compete in Nation’s Largest Solar- Powered Boat Competition
PRESS RELEASE 11-12-42 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE LAGUNA BEACH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT JOANNE CULVERHOUSE, LAGUNA BEACH HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL (949) 497-7750
LBHS Students Solar Cup Team Students Compete in Nation’s Largest Solar- Powered Boat Competition
The Laguna Beach High School Solar Cup Team recently competed with students from 39 Southern California high schools in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s tenth Annual Solar Cup. The three-day event was held at Lake Skinner in the Temecula Valley. Students built, equipped and raced the 16-foot, single-seat canoe powered only by the sun. Teams competed in a series of qualifying events and endurance races before competing in the final sprint race. The LBHS team took second place in the rookie division for solar endurance, first place in their division for their PSA, second place overall in their division and eighteenth place overall.
The Solar Cup Team students are members of the high school’s Solar Club, which started three years ago under the direction of high school teacher Steve Sogo. The club was originated to help maintain the solar panels on the roof of the LBHS science wing.
Solar Club President, Laura Kawashiri, brought the Solar Cup information to the Club for consideration. About twenty students from all grade levels participate in the club and ten have been working on the Solar Cup project.
The Laguna Beach County Water District sponsored the LBHS team. "The District was excited to sponsor the LBHS team in this year's tenth annual Solar Cup competition," said Renae Hinchey, Laguna Beach County Water District general manager. "Building on their studies in math, physics, engineering, and communications, the students were able to showcase their resourcefulness and ingenuity while learning about California's water sources, resource management, and alternative energy development," she said. "The District is proud to support a group of students that strive to be stewards of our natural resources and advocates for a healthy planet."
Solar Cup faculty advisor and physics teacher Jennifer Merritt expressed her appreciation for the Laguna Beach County Water District’s support and to Bob Bobst, Laguna Beach County Water District, Water Use Efficiency Representative, whose help was a vital component in the completion of the project. She remarked, “The team has been meeting at the Laguna Beach County Water District almost every weekend since February and Bob has been there every weekend to help support the team with advice, equipment and labor.”
Ms. Merritt continued, “I have always been a hands on person/teacher. I truly enjoy working with the students to give them real life/in the shop experience. It has also been great having the students work with and get advice from adult volunteers who have expertise in boat building/maintenance and mechanical engineering. The kids are excited and that is what makes the whole learning process fun!”
Students enthusiastically embraced the learning process. By the afternoon of the first day, students were asking Ms. Merritt when they could start working on their next solar-powered boat.