The Solar Car Challenge is the premier high school engineering event in America. This event has been the proving grounds for future engineers since the early 90ís. It has grown from a teacherís dream with three solar cars competing to a week-long international high school event today. The Solar Car Challenge is by far the best opportunity for highschool students to test their engineering talents.
This week long competition provides students with a challenge not found in other competitions. Teamwork and perseverance are pushed to the limit. Students learn to be innovative and comradery among teams is developed. As the competition progresses teams are helping other teams, donating equipment, troubleshooting problems, and cheering them across the finish line.
By the end of this event students have a well-earned sense of accomplishment and a feeling of self-confidence that carries on to college. I have several past students who speak to the skills they learned in high school in order to compete in the Solar Car Challenge giving them a lead over their peers at the university level.
Robert Franz, Advisor
Southwest Engineering Team
San Antonio, Texas
Choctaw Tushka Hashi teams has been with the Solar Car Challenge since 2005. This challenge allows students to showcase their skills like no activity I have experienced in my 30 years as an Educator. The collaboration between teams,bring everlasting impressions and friendships. I would like to say we may have teams that are more advanced than others, but that does not take away from teams who are starting out with little money to accomplish the task of finishing the Challenge no matter how slow or fast they travel. I would like to thanks Dr. Marks for continuing to encourage teams to participate in the challenge and spend many hours in preparation all for the benefit of the youth.
Choctaw Tushka Hashi
I got a text from the captain of our last year's team. He is a brilliant young man that is now at Harvard. He is on their satellite team, and was telling me that what he learned from the Solar Car Challenge has really helped him with his new position; to send a satellites into space. There is nothing like The Solar Car Challenge for preparing students for amazing futures!
Tony Roseberry, Advisor
Wylie East High School Solar Car Team
If we want a stronger, home-grown, human resource, we absolutely need to offer opportunities like the Solar Car Challenge to our students. Hands-on/minds-on projects are making a difference for our next generation of engineers and scientists and we must do every thing we can to support them. Thank you Solar Car Challenge for changing the lives of my students.
Mark Westlake, Advisor
Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team
Mendota Heights, Minnesota
The SCC is an amazing race that teaches kids about engineering, sportsmanship and perseverance. Students build cars for several months and then race them across America. I've been on several races and they are very exciting. IMHO it's the best STEM program in existance!
Best competition for HS kids to apply their knowledge and skills!
Anthony Lehmann, Advisor
Harmony School of Innovation, Brownsville, Texas
An incredible opportunity for young innovators to learn invaluable skills that translate directly to the real world. I attended the challenge in 2019 and was blown away by the skill, creativity, and sportsmanship of the competitors. I recommend this program to any high school student interested in pursuing a career in STEM.
I was on the Winston team in the early 2000ís back when it was the Winston Solar Car Challenge. The great thing about being a part of this was not just that we learned great engineering and problem solving skills, but because we raised the money ourselves, taught other schools how to start their own team, hosted the race and a multistage science fair, we learned fundraising skills, budgeting skills, logistical skills, management skills, and interpersonal skills. It was one of the best experiences in my academic life and prepared me for the many projects I would later work on. 10/10 would do again.
Winston Solar Car Team
The Solar Car Challenge is one of the most wholesome, hands-on and and practical educational programs I've had the pleasure to be a part of, speaking as a volunteer staff member and team judge of 8 years. Students learn, compete and grow together while raising awareness about the environment. The technical and engineering skills, teamwork, discipline and work-ethic gained through this program sets each one of these sharp students up for a great adult life. I comprehensively recommend this program for any high school student nationwide to get a head-start in an engineering or technical field.
This fantastic organization fosters innovation, teamwork, creativity, camaraderie, problem-solving, and resourcefulness among the high school student participants. I was involved as a team sponsor for 3 years when my son as on one of the teams. The students were tasked with building a vehicle that was powered only by the sun. Once built they had to pass a series of scrutineering tests to ensure that the vehicle and the drivers could satisfy all of the safety requirements outlined by the Solar Car Challenge. Only after they could prove that the vehicle was safe and the team could safely operate it under various scenarios, was the team allowed to participate in the program. I was very impressed that the organizers made safety the top priority.
From his participation in the program, my son got the engineering bug so much that he has since received a Mechanical Engineering degree and is currently advancing towards a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at Bucknell University. Thank you Dr. Marks and the Solar Car Challenge for inspiring so many young minds and promoting a safe program for the thousands of students that have participated in the Solar Car Challenge over the years.
Scott Conser, Advisor/Parent
The Devon Panel
Devon Preparatory School, Devon, Pennsylvania
As the Winston Solar Academy Director I highly recommend The Solar Car Challenge. The Solar Car Challenge provides high schools across the U.S. and internationally the opportunity to take their STEM programs and apply them in real world applications to build a solar car and to race them each year in July.
The Solar Car Challenge has provided a positive influence in advancing our students into an in-depth, hands-on STEM experience in science, technology, engineering, math and alternative energy. Our students are engaged in real world experiences that has opened doors for them to universities and internships.
If you do not have a current STEM program or want to advance your current program The Solar Car Challenge is it!
Do NOT hesitate! Without a doubt it has advanced our program!
Charlene Olson, Advisor
Winston Solar Car Team
My husband has been a part of this since the 90s. I can see all of the planning that goes into and the care that is taken for the kids that participate. Even more I have heard the countless stories of how this has made positive changes in the kidsĎ lives that participate and how much it propels them through school and even their working career. I hope that one day our kids will be able to participate in this event.
The Solar Car Challenge has provided a tremendous opportunity for students at our school. They have learned public relations, fundraising, project planning, teamwork, designing, engineering and racing strategy. These are just a few of the ways this program has helped prepare my students for life after school and college.
Lyle Crossley, Advisor
All Saints' Solar Car Team
Fort Worth, Texas
I participated in the Solar Car Challenge throughout high school and volunteered as a Judge in college. I can say without a doubt that I would not be the person I am today if I had not had this experience. This program sparked my interest in STEM and transportation research, which led me into the career path that I now follow. Learning and applying critical thinking of this level at such a young age and operating in a team in a demanding environment were both incredibly valuable experiences for me as well. I recommend participating in the Solar Car Challenge to any high school student or group without reservation.
Winston Solar Car Team
I was involved with the Solar Car Challenge for many years starting as a Junior in high school back in 2002-2003. I was a participant of a team based in New York while still in high school and then served as a judge for the race for several years after I graduated. The experience I had, the exposure to amazing science, and the wonderful people that I was surrounded by truly helped guide me to my career as a STEM educator today.
Newburgh Free Academy Solar Racing Team
Newburgh, New York
The Solar Car Challenge Organization provides a great opportunity for students with a passion to pursue a STEM Career. It provides them with a challenge to apply knowledge in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math. Building a solar or electric car is not only a giant effort, but it is also fun and gives the students a practical sense of understanding the academic aspect of the classroom teaching. Dr Mark and his team have been doing a superb job with this event. They keep it safe and fun. Many of my kids get to travel across the nation, and this alone is something incredibly and an out of this world experience, as some of these kids come from financially strapped families. Students complement their knowledge and expand their experience. They grow their professional network as they meet SCC personnel and other competing students and teachers. I wholeheartedly recommend going thru this experience with your students. You will not regret it and your students will never forget you.
Western High School, Davie, Florida
For years, the Solar Car Challenge has paved the way for many prospecting students to immerse themselves in the world of STEM. By challenging students to think outside the box, teaching them the value of teamwork, and developing their technical and leadership skills, this program is an absolutely life changing experience. It is quite possibly one of the best things I have ever been a part of.
Palmdale High School Solar Falcons
The Solar Car Challenge presents a unique experience for High School students to explore different perspectives of STEM. The program helps develop hand-on knowledge outside of the classroom while delivering high-quality learning experiences.
La Cañada Engineering Club
La Cañada, California
The Solar Car Challenge is the most incredible opportunity for young men and women to get involved in engineering in ways that will stretch them beyond what they know. This challenge helped shape me in the person I'm very excited to be!
Coppell Solar Car Team
Creative problem solving like no other challenge! The culture of team helping team is fantastic!
Thomas Stueve, Advisor
Oregon Solar Car Team
A great experience! Students solve real-world problems using skills they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Caroline Little, Advisor
Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team
Mendota Heights, Minnesota
I am the volunteer who leads the Covenant Christian Academy (CCA) solar car team and we are currently starting our 4th year of competing in the Solar Car Challenge (SCC). I am a passionate supporter of the SCC, because of the unparalleled learning opportunity that it creates for our students. Both my son and daughter were founding members of the CCA solar car team and have participated in both their close course competitions at Texas Motor Speedway (2017 & 2019) and their cross country competition from Fort Worth, TX to Palmdale, CA in 2018. As both a father of team members, as well as, leader of the CCA team, one of the things that I appreciate the most about the Solar Car Challenge organization is their unparalleled commitment to safety of the students. I encourage both prospective sponsors and other schools considering the SCC, to come and join us in this most special of student educational programs.
Shannon Caraway, Advisor
Covenant Christian Academy Solar Car Team