2017 Northern Virginia Junior Solar Sprint Winners
Students from Fairfax County Public Schools and Loudoun County Public Schools won awards at the 2017 Northern Virginia Junior Solar Sprint (JSS), a competition to design, build, and race model solar electric cars, held last Saturday, September 16, 2017 at Marshall High School.
The goal of JSS is to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for students in grades 5-8. The JSS is a satellite event of the USA Science and Engineering Festival and is sponsored by the U.S. Army Outreach Program. This year, it was hosted by Sajni Vederey, current 11th grade at TJHSST and the CEO and Founder of STEM All Stars, in cooperation with Young Scholars Circle, Electric Vehicle Association, Technology Student Association, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Each JSS team, consisting of two to three members, is tasked to design and build a model solar electric car no larger than 30 x 60 x 30 centimeters powered by sunlight, and race against other teams. The students applied their knowledge of aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, weight, and drive train to maximize their cars for speed and reliability. The race is a double elimination competition with awards going to the fastest three cars. Each winning team received a trophy, medals from STEM All Stars and EVA and gift certificates from Young Scholars Circle: $150 for all the team members who got first place, $100 for all the second place team members, $75 for all the third place team members and $50 for all the special awardees.
Elementary Division (grades 5-6)
1st place Speed – Poorna Prakash (5th grade – Greenbriar West ES) and Anjana Kumar (6th grade – Lunsford Middle School)
2nd Place Speed – Lakshmi Hair and Gaayathri Mathuria (both 5th grade at Greenbriar West ES)
3rd place Speed – Deven Hagen and Prashim Rijal (both 5th grade at Haycock ES)
MIDDLE SCHOOL DIVISION (grades 7-8)
1st place Speed – Andres Contreras and Samantha Mendoza (Luther Jackson MS)
2nd place Speed – Anson Zhong and Maryam Malik (Luther Jackson MS)
3rd place Speed – Isra Satiar (8th grade, River Bend MS ) & Nithya Gopalakrishnan (8th grade, Kilmer MS )
Most Resourceful – This award was given to a car that creatively incorporates already-used materials in its design and construction.
Middle School Division – Anika Gupta, Anjana Rajesh and Anna Cheng (all from Luther Jackson MS)
Elementary School Division – Poorna Prakash (5th grade – Greenbriar West ES) and Anjana Kumar (6th grade – Lunsford Middle School)
Artistic Merit – This award was given to a car that has extra artistic flair or has outstanding visual appeal.
Middle School Division – Isra Satiar (8th grade, River Bend MS) and Nithya Gopalakrishnan (8th grade, Kilmer MS).
Elementary School Division – Lakshmi Hair and Gaayathri Mathuria (both 5th grade at Greenbriar West ES).
Team Spirit –This was awarded to a team that demonstrated special group spirit, enthusiasm, collaboration, and good sportsmanship.
Middle School Division – Ram Reddy (7th grade, Longfellow MS), Pranav Bhimaraju (7th grade, Kilmer MS) and Nitish Tenepalli (7th grade, Longfellow MS).
Elementary School Division – Deven Hagen and Prashim Rijal (Haycock ES).
The Overall Design Category awards from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Electric Vehicle Association- DC were presented to Deven Hagen and Prashim Rijal (both 5th grade at Haycock ES – 1st Place Design), Poorna Prakash (5th grade – Greenbriar West ES – 2nd Place Design) and Anjana Kumar (6th grade – Lunsford Middle School – 2nd Place Design), and Isra Satiar (8th grade, River Bend MS) and Nithya Gopalakrishnan (8th grade, Kilmer MS – 3rd Place Design).
The Best Team Name award from the US Environmental Protection Agency and Electric Vehicle Association was presented to the Photon Race team: Tejini Holavanahali, Ramya Reddy and Yusuf Gunther-Rahman (all 7th graders, Longfellow Middle School).
Another special award from the Electric Vehicle Association was the Best Use of Recycled Materials. This award went to the Solar Savers team of Legacy Elementary School: Siddharth Mathai, Rohan Agarwal and Srihitha Byredd.
Sajni Vederey (TJHSST), Sahaj Vederey (TJHSST) and Gautham Pillai (Langley High School) served as judges in choosing the winners for the special awards category. JSS teams took the responsibility for the design, construction, and performance of a model solar electric vehicle.
Junior Solar Sprint winners and all the JSS Virginia teams are given the chance to compete again with more schools from Washington, D.C., and Maryland schools in the Greater DC Junior Solar Sprint in May 2018.
For more information on upcoming JSS events, please contact Sahaj Vederey, the Technology and Web Developer of STEM All Stars at firstname.lastname@example.org and Krishna Cart of Young Scholars Circle at email@example.com.