The race was on at Hubbard Middle School, this morning--to see who's design was the fastest in a solar car challenge.
It was all part of an important lesson about alternative fuel. "Our scientists are working on it, and solar energy is one," said Chad Trpkosh, an eighth grader.
Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Tyler ISD Foundation, the students were able to getting some hands-on experience, using a few solar panels, their small SunEzoon cars, and of course, a lot of sunshine.
There was some trial and error. Trpkosh said he started with three engines. "I think it short circuited, so I cut the wire, and took the engine off so it wouldn't be as heavy."
"It took me a really long time to do it," said Evan Manning. "With two solar panels, it caught a lot more sun."
The end result--a real solar-powered car, and a classroom of earth-friendly eighth graders.
"We've been talking about bio-diesel, vegetable oil, how they've been using methane gas from the landfills," said DeAnna Molloy, a teacher at Hubbard Middle School. "This is very important to them."
She said she hopes her students' enthusiasm goes well beyond the classroom.
"This has kind of made them aware of where our society is. They're the generation that, in ten years, will be out of college, ready to start a new world, for us."