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Racing For The Future
Thu, 19 Jun 2003, 23:01

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(NAPSI)—Every year, some of the best and brightest high school students from around the world work to support one of the nation’s hottest issues—clean energy.

The students participate in an internationally recognized solar car race that runs a cross-country course or is staged on a closed track. This year’s race runs 1,400 miles from Austin, Texas to Indianapolis, Indiana.

Since 1995, the race has matched solar-powered cars, built by students, in a competition meant to encourage their interests in science, engineering and solar technology. In addition, the race draws global attention to the efficiency and practicality of alternative energy sources like the sun and wind that are cleaner than fossil fuels.

The race, called Green Mountain Energy’s Winston Solar Challenge, started as a relatively small educational initiative with just 90 schools participating.

In recent years, the challenge has grown at a steady pace. Seven hundred and fifty schools from five different countries currently participate in the program with approximately ten schools qualifying for the race.

The challenge is hosted each year by The Winston School and is sponsored by Green Mountain Energy Company.

The school’s Solar Education Program teaches high school students how to build and safely race solar-powered vehicles. Workshops and curriculum provide mini-courses in engineering, battery technology, solar electronics, aerodynamics and financial management. The students will also be using the latest technology—including notebooks donated by Dell Computer Corporation. Emphasis is placed on sharing of knowledge and the development of new friendships rather than the intensity of the competition.

The school partnered with the energy company to promote the race and help teach its participants the importance of a clean environment.

“This race is all about the students and helping expand their knowledge and skills outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Lehman Marks, event coordinator for The Winston School. “Our relationship with Green Mountain Energy Company is a natural tie-in because we share a mutual commitment to the future, the kids and clean energy.”

Green Mountain Energy Company is the country’s largest and fastest growing provider of “less-polluting” electricity, with more than half million customers.

For more information, visit the Web sites at or

An annual race helps teach students about science and promotes the use of clean energy.

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