FAU Pine Jog Presents 2nd Annual South Florida EnergyWhiz Expo
by Teresa Crane | Monday, Apr 06, 2020
Florida Atlantic University Pine Jog Environmental Education Center coordinated the second annual South Florida EnergyWhiz Expo at Boca Raton Community High School. More than 130 elementary, middle and high school students in Palm Beach and Broward counties participated in Junior Solar Sprint and/or Solar Energy Cook-off events.
“It’s just as important for students to understand the engineering design process as it is to present the final engineered product,” said Anne Henderson, director of education at the Center. “As such, teams were recognized for their achievements in both design and innovation, in addition to performance.”
The Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) event showcased projects from teams of two to four students whose goal was to design, construct and race a small solar-powered vehicle along a guide wire down a 20-meter long track. In addition to technical specs and craftsmanship, cars were judged on creativity and the use of unique, environmentally-friendly materials. When it came time to race, speed was the determining factor. Teams competed in time trials and exciting head-to-head double elimination finals.
The Solar Energy Cook-off (SCO) event gave teams of two to six students the opportunity to present self-designed and built solar cookers. They prepared and cooked dishes using only the power of the sun. Judges interviewed teams about the science behind their cookers and recipe choices. Cooker designs were judged on function, creativity, and durability. Extra points were awarded for using local, sustainable produce, and upcycled materials. Culinary judging was based on taste, presentation, nutrition and difficulty.
“We know that looking at renewable energy sources is key for the future,” said Ray Coleman, executive director at the Center, who also presided over the opening ceremony. “When we can engage students in a fun place-based learning activity that reinforces environmental science, technology, engineering, and mathematics we know we’re on to something.”
Mr. Coleman kicked off the festivities with a resounding welcome to student participants, team advisors, volunteers, and spectators. A special guest in attendance was Robert S. Weinroth, Palm Beach County Commissioner. Florida Power & Light sponsored the Expo with a U-Fix-It station for cars competing in the JSS event. Additionally, Goldin Solar highlighted this year’s Junior Solar Sprint car competition in ‘The Green Stuff’, a YouTube show that explores the intersection of modern life and sustainability at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9fJw7iUjGk&.
Grand prize winners of $100.00 were the Shark Attack! team from NSU University School in Ft. Lauderdale for the JSS event and the Wolfpack 1 team from Westglades Middle School in Parkland for the SCO event.
2020 South Florida EnergyWhiz Expo winners by division and grade level were as follows:
JSS Green Division, grades 3-5
- 1st Place Overall – Shark Attack!, NSU University School
- 1st Place Race Performance – Shark Attack!, NSU University School
- 1st Place Design – The Contraptions, Global Prospective School
- 1st Place Innovation – The Solar Boys, Central Park Elementary School
- 2nd Place Overall – Solar Gazers, Long Lake
- 2nd Place Race Performance – Solar Gazers, Long Lake
- 2nd Place Design – Diva Unicorns, NSU University School
- 2nd Place Innovation – The Contraptions, Global Prospective School
JSS Blue Division, grades 6-8
- 1st Place Overall – Goodwill Gang, Apollo Middle School
- 1st Place Race Performance – Goodwill Gang, Apollo Middle School
- 1st Place Design – Solar Panthers, Pine Crest School
- 1st Place Innovation – Solar Panthers, Pine Crest School
- 2nd Place Overall – AMS SOL, Apollo Middle School
- 2nd Place Race Performance, AMS SOL, Apollo Middle School
- 2nd Place Design – Pagani, War Admiral IndyCar, The Benjamin & Conservatory Schools
- 2nd Place Innovation – Ray Catchers, Advent School Boca
SCO Yellow Division, grades 3-5
- 1st Place Overall – Sunshine Solar Chefs, Grandview Preparatory School
- 1st Place Culinary Performance – Sunshine Solar Chefs, Grandview Preparatory School
- 1st Place Design – Solar Vibes, Meadow Park Elementary School
- 2nd Place Overall – Hungry Jaguars, Pembroke Pines FSU Charter Elementary School
- 2nd Place Culinary Performance – Solar Scientists, Grandview Preparatory School
- 2nd Place Design – Sunshine Solar Chefs, Grandview Preparatory School
SCO Orange Division, grades 6-8
- 1st Place Overall – Wolfpack 1, Westglades Middle School
- 1st Place Culinary Performance – Chef Sol, Grandview Preparatory School
- 1st Place Design – Wolfpack 1, Westglades Middle School
- 2nd Place Overall – Chef Sol, Grandview Preparatory School
- 2nd Place Culinary Performance – Wolfpack 1, Westglades Middle School
- 2nd Place Design – Chef Sol, Grandview Preparatory School
SCO Red Division, grades 9-12
- 1st Place Overall – Chicken of the Sea, Boca Raton Community High School
- 1st Place Culinary Performance – Chicken of the Sea, Boca Raton Community High School
- 1st Place Design – Chicken of the Sea, Boca Raton Community High School
To learn more about the South Florida EnergyWhiz Expo and awardees, contact Alicia Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org or Greg Goebel at email@example.com or visit http://www.pinejog.fau.edu/educator-programs/energy-whiz.php.
Pine Jog Environmental Education Center is a unit of the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University. Since 1960, Pine Jog has been fulfilling its mission of developing, modeling and providing educational programs and services which foster awareness and appreciation of the natural world, promote understanding of environmental concepts and instill a sense of stewardship. For more information, contact Pine Jog at 561-686-6600 or visit www.pinejog.fau.edu.