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Junior Solar Sprint 2005

Sponsored by

The Boston Area Solar Energy Association
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Environmental Program Office
MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment

  We've picked a date!

Saturday May 21
Rain date - Sunday May 22
Location: MIT
Henry Steinbrenner Stadium & Track Cambridge, MA
Map available here

Model solar car competition

The Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) is a national hands-on educational program that encourages students to develop theoretical and applied engineering skills.  Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade have the opportunity to design, build, and race solar powered model cars.   The top 100 cars from participating Eastern Massachusetts schools compete in area competition sponsored by BASEA and this year by MIT.   The top 20 area cars in the categories of technical merit, creativity, performance and craftsmanship move on to compete in the New England Regional Race, hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association.

JSS was originally created by the United States Department of Energy in an effort to educate young people about renewable energy and the environment.  Since its inception in 1990, the program has moved from a predominantly publicly funded program to an almost entirely privately funded program.

Click here if you wish to receive periodic JSS News and Updates via e-mail.


Download Forms Here
School Registration Form
  -  Return by Friday May 6,  2005
Team Registration Form
     - Bring one registration form for each team.
JSS Rule book    - Requires Acrobat Reader. 
If you do not have the Acrobat reader, click here to download and install:

Frequently Asked Questions:
Who organizes the JSS? 
What are the rules for designing a JSS car?
How can my school participate in the JSS?
What resources are available to help me and my students?

How can I help with the JSS?

When are the races scheduled for 2005?

What is the Schedule for Race Day?
Who can I contact for more information?  

Who organizes the JSS?

The JSS is organized into three levels- local, regional and national.  BASEA is the local organizer for Eastern Massachusetts, responsible for assisting teachers, offering local workshops, and coordinating the Boston area race.  At the regional level, the JSS is organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).  
The national JSS competition is managed by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) .  Information about the national event can be found at www.nrel.gov/education/student/natjss.html.   You may also call their technical help line at 1-800-NEW-ENGY or e-mail NREL at jennifer_wieth@nrel.gov or linda_lung@nrel.gov . We suggest you contact BASEA for local JSS Information and NREL for national assistance. Please Note: The Eastern MA race follows the Northeast JSS rules, which are different than the national rules.


What are the rules for designing a JSS car?

Working in teams of 2-4, each team is provided with a kit consisting of a solar panel and a motor. The students design the chassis and the transmission and build them out of any materials they wish. The finished car must be able to carry a payload of an empty soda can and must have a removable solar panel.  The Eastern MA race follow the Northeast JSS rules, which can be found at http://www.nesea.org/education/jss/rules.html


How can my school participate in the JSS?

In order to participate in the JSS your school must submit a registration form by Friday, May 7th.   The top cars from each of the participating schools are invited to the Eastern MA race.  Schools with 1 to 25 teams may send up to 4 teams.  Schools with more than 25 teams may send up to 20% of their teams.  If you are interested in sending additional teams, please contact us soon.  For registration information contact David McNair .


What resources are available to help me and my students?

BASEA provides volunteer mentors that can meet with teachers and students at the participating schools to teach about the design process and assist in the use of tools to construct the cars.  BASEA also offers a teacher training workshop each spring.  Teachers who attend the workshop will receive the “starter” curriculum and other information, including easy- to- follow ti me lines and lists of tools that will assist with organizing the JSS in the classroom.  There will also be a hands-on period for participants to familiarize themselves with the design and construction aspects of the program, and ti me for all the questions first ti me rs might have. Additional materials to assist teachers in developing a curriculum for their classrooms is available on the NREL website at  www.nrel.gov/education/student/natjss.html.


How can I help with the JSS?

BASEA administers the JSS program solely through the efforts of volunteers. Volunteer mentors  Other volunteers devote their time and energy to ensure that the Area Race, with over 400 students, runs smoothly. Volunteer administrators personally contact over 85 teachers, attend science fairs, run teacher-mentor workshops and make presentations about JSS to various educational groups.  In addition to volunteering, you can also help us by...

  • Introducing the JSS program into your school. Providing the race materials such as banners, hats, trophies, refreshments
  • Providing individual or corporate sponsorship.  BASEA is pleased to welcome MIT as a sponsor of this year's race. In exchange, your organization will be prominently associated with this excellent program. BASEA is a tax-deductible non-profit organization. Please contact Henry Vandemark, JSS coordinator, at (617) 497-6527 or write him at hkv@solarwave.com.

Significant funding comes directly from BASEA through membership dues, our BASEA Forum and the generosity of private donors. This year, federal funding for JSS is gone. We need YOUR help.

 If you are interested in assisting with the 2005 JSS , please email David McNair.


What is the Schedule for Race Day?

A typical race day schedule: 10:00 - 11:00    Registration and Inspection
11:00 - 11:15   
Opening remarks and instructions
11:15 - 12:45   
Double Elimination Rounds
12:45 - 1:00     
Break (time/weather permitting)
1:00 - 1:30       
Final Rounds
1:30 - 2:00       


Who can I contact for more information?

For more information, email David McNair.

Special Thanks to 2004 Volunteers and Participants!

BASEA had over twenty schools and 500 students participate in the 2004 JSS. BASEA wishes to thank all of the schools, teachers and mentors who participated in the program, all of the volunteers who donated their time and energy to make this program possible, and the MIT K-12 program and Athletic Department for supporting the program and providing the race track facilities.

BASEA Junior Solar Sprint
Box 44-1017
West Somerville, MA 02144-0007
617-497-6527 Back to BASEA Home Page


Page Updated 25 March 2005