Dozens teenagers from high schools throughout Riverside County will spend next Saturday engaged in the centuries-old craft of boat-building, ahead of a competition that requires the young mariners to use the sun to power their rigs.
Seven Riverside County high schools and teams are among the 48 that will participate in the Metropolitan Water District's 11th annual Solar Cup race May 16-18 2014 at Lake Skinner in Winchester. More than 700 students will compete in the event that is free to the public, MWD spokesman Bob Muir said.
Half of the 40 student teams powered up for the big race went to the Three Valleys Municipal Water District's headquarters in Claremont on Saturday to start construction of the canoe-like hulls to be used. The second half are expected next Saturday at the same location to piece together the hulls using kits made up of pre-cut, marine-grade plywood, Muir said.
Once the hulls are done the teams will take them back to their high schools and spend the next seven months equipping with batteries, solar panels and other engineering necessities, Muir said.
MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger praised the Solar Cup competition for its aim toward inspiring any would-be engineers of the future.
"Solar Cup has encouraged many participants to attend college and to pursue careers in engineering, science, environmental issues and communication," Kightlinger said.
Teams are participating from Arlington High School in Riverside; Elsinore High School in Wildomar; Hemet Unified Team in Hemet; Moreno Valley USD Team in San Jacinto; Norte Vista High School in Riverside; Perris Union High SD Team in Menifee; and the Temecula Valley Team in Temecula. --City News Service