Warren High students win with solar-powered boat

DOWNEY - Warren High School's solar boat team brought home several trophies at the Metropolitan Water District Solar Cup race this past weekend at Lake Skinner. The race is recognized as the nation's largest solar-powered boat competition in which students build, equip and race 16-ft., single-seat canoes powered only by the sun.

The Warren team earned first place for their PSA video on water conservation, first place for their technical reports and second place in the 200 meter sprint race.

Warren students have been working on their boat since November.

"It is an amazing process to see these kids transform from not knowing what a Phillips screwdriver is in November to watching them troubleshoot, diagnose and work on complex electrical systems and mechanical drivelines to race their boat in May," said team advisor and engineering teacher Glenn Yamasaki. "They are learning things that no textbook could ever achieve."

Teams completed a series of qualifying events May 18 to ensure their boats met rules and were safe and seaworthy. On May 19, the teams attached solar-collection panels to the boats for two, 90-minute 1.4-kilometer endurance races.

The event culminated Sunday as the solar-collection panels were removed and, using solar energy stored in batteries, the boats raced down a 200-meter stretch - like drag racing on water.

The schools represented teams from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties.

The Warren team included captains Alex Salgado, Brian Choo and Garett Powers, seniors, Beatrix Jimenez, Edgar Villarreal, Kelvin Flores, Liliana Lopez, Luis Valencia and Sarabeth Schibler, and juniors Adriana Garcia, Johnny Iglesias and Paul Kim.

********** Published: May 24, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 06