Middle school students called to race

Annual solar/battery car competition gearing up

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Nov. 18, 2019 – Middle school students from Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, who enjoy math and science – and the thrill of racing – are called to quench their “need for speed” at Platte River Power Authority’s second annual solar and battery model car races.

The NoCo Time Trials will take place at Walt Clark Middle School on May 2, followed by the National Renewable Energy Lab’s (NREL) state competition in Denver on May 16. As a sponsor, Platte River provides northern Colorado middle schools and team coaches with model car kits and program guidance so students can apply their STEM knowledge at regional and statewide competitions.

A total of 35 teams from seven middle schools participated in the inaugural regional event earlier this year, most of which went to the state competition. Two northern Colorado middle school teams took home trophies from the state competition. Platte River’s time-trial event enables students to put their cars to the test ahead of the state tournament.

“This is a fun and unique opportunity for students in our communities to learn about solar power and the future of energy in our state, and to develop practical skills associated with their STEM education” said Steve Roalstad, Platte River spokesperson. “We plan to provide at least one solar- and one battery-powered car kit per middle school, so the sooner schools sign up, the better.”

The deadline for middle schools to sign up and guarantee receipt of car kits is Dec. 31, 2019. Platte River will order car kits in early January and make them available to teams at a coaches training session in March.

More information about the competition is posted to Platte River’s website, including details about registration and participation in the NoCo Time Trials. Questions about the event can be directed to Platte River’s communications team. For questions regarding the statewide competition, visit NREL’s website for more information.

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Platte River Power Authority is a not-for-profit wholesale electricity generation and transmission provider that delivers safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to its owner communities of Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, Colorado for delivery to their utility customers.