MORRISTOWN, NJ - Unity Charter School was recently selected to host the Junior Solar Sprints competition.
The Junior Solar Sprints (JSS) program is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competition that engages students to design, build and race model solar-powered cars. The event offers students the opportunity to learn about engineering by means of a friendly competition against their peers from many schools all around Morris County.
Students are given one motor, a single battery pack and one solar panel. The battery pack must be included in the design in case there is no sun on race day. Students need to also include a pay load (empty soda can) into the design. Students then design, construct and race a model solar powered vehicle. Educators let students assume the responsibility for decisions around planning, building and performing on race day. The role of the educator is to nurture the spirit of excitement, the joy of discovery and bring forward this real-world problem-based learning that awaits these students.
The judges at the competition are evaluating students on a progress journal, car speed, engineering design, artistic design and use of recyclable materials. The Junior Solar Sprints competition is separated into 5 divisional races that culminate in an Inter County Final. Unity Charter school is hosting one of the Divisional Races on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 as well as the Inter-County Race on Monday, May 20, 2019.
Unity Charter School exemplifies educational excellence, infusing Education for Sustainability throughout our culture. Student agency drives critical thinking and inspires advocacy through a constructivist learning approach. This competition aligns with this learning approach and with the school’s goal to foster natural curiosity and critical thinking.