Metropolitan’s 14th Annual Solar Cup Begins with Boat-Building Sessions This Weekend

Solar Cup
Solar Cup 2015

The largest solar-powered boat competition in the U.S. officially shoves off this weekend (Nov. 7-8) as teams of high school students from six Southern California counties assemble the 16-foot hulls they will equip and race next spring as part of Metropolitan Water District’s 14th annual Solar Cup.

Solar Cup, which Metropolitan began in 2002 with just eight teams and about 80 students, has become the largest solar-powered boat competition in the United States showcasing technical ingenuity, scientific skills, creativity and collaboration. This year, more than 900 students will participate on 40 Solar Cup teams in the three-day competition next spring (see attached list).

Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 7) and Sunday (Nov. 8), teams will gather at Three Valleys Municipal Water District headquarters—at 1021 E. Miramar Ave in Claremont—to build identical, canoe-like hulls out of kits of pre-cut, marine-grade plywood.

Once the hulls are completed, the teams take them back to their schools to equip them over the next seven months with motors, batteries, solar-collection panels, rudders and steering systems.

The Solar Cup program is a team-based educational competition that allows students to apply their skills in math, physics, engineering and communications, while learning about Southern California’s water resources, resource management, conservation and alternative energy development.

The program will conclude with the Solar Cup competition May 13-15, 2016 at Metropolitan’s Lake Skinner near Temecula in southwestern Riverside County, where the teams will compete in endurance and sprint races. The event is open to the public.

As part of the program, Metropolitan provides the hull kits and tool boxes and sponsors technical workshops for the teams and their teachers/advisors that represent schools in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Metropolitan’s member water agencies and, in some cases, local water retailers, sponsor the teams to help equip the boats. In addition to individual schools, this year three teams are comprised of students from multiple schools—boats representing the Lake Elsinore Unified School District, Hemet Unified School District and Perris Union High School District.

The 2016 Solar Cup program includes four first-time rookie teams that will compete with each other. Another 36 returning or veteran teams must build a new hull but may re-use motors, batteries, solar panels and other equipment from previous years.

Teams also are required to submit technical reports and create a public service announcement. Winners in the newcomer and veteran divisions will have the highest number of points from the competition, plus points awarded for attendance at workshops, technical reports and producing public service announcements.

The 2015 Solar Cup program featured 41 teams, of which nine were newcomers. Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, sponsored by Eastern Municipal Water District, captured first place in the veteran’s division. Cypress’ Oxford Academy, sponsored by the Municipal Water District of Orange County, took the top prize in the rookie division during the three-day event.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

Solar Cup™ 2016 Teams

Team/School Name City Member Agency Sponsor Co-Sponsor Agency
Academia Avance Los Angeles Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Alliance Collins Family College Ready High School* Huntington Park Central Basin MWD
Anaheim High School Anaheim Anaheim Public Utilities
Arcadia High School Arcadia Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD
Burbank High School Burbank Burbank Water & Power
Calabasas High School Calabasas Las Virgenes MWD
Chino High School Chino Inland Empire Utilities Agency City of Chino
Chino Hills High School Chino Hills Inland Empire Utilities Agency City of Chino Hills
Coast High School Huntington Beach Municipal Water District of Orange County City of Huntington Beach
Compton High School Compton City of Compton
David Gonzales School Calabasas Las Virgenes MWD
Del Lago Academy Escondido San Diego County Water Authority
Downey High School Downey Central Basin MWD
Elsinore HS / Lakeside HS Wildomar Western MWD Elsinore Valley MWD
Franklin High School Los Angeles Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
Ganesha High School Pomona Three Valleys MWD
Hemet USD Team (Tahquitz HS; Western Center Academy; West Valley HS) Hemet Eastern MWD Rancho California Water District
High Tech High North County San Marcos San Diego County Water Authority
John Muir High School Pasadena Pasadena Water & Power
Kaiser High School* Fontana Inland Empire Utilities Agency Fontana Water Company
La Cañada High School La Cañada Flintridge Foothill MWD La Cañada Irrigation District
Laguna Beach High School Laguna Beach Municipal Water District of Orange County Laguna Beach County Water District
Lennox Academy Lennox West Basin MWD
Los Alamitos High School* Los Alamitos Municipal Water District of Orange County Golden State Water
McBride High School Long Beach Long Beach Water Department
Mountain View High School El Monte Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD
Nogales High School La Puente Three Valleys MWD
Norte Vista High School Riverside Western MWD Riverside Public Utilities
Nuview Bridge Early College HS Nuevo Eastern MWD Rancho California Water District
Oak Park High School Oak Park Calleguas MWD
Palos Verdes High School Palos Verdes Estates West Basin MWD
Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Rolling Hills Estates West Basin MWD
Paramount High School West Paramount Central Basin MWD
Perris Union High SD Team (Heritage HS; Perris HS) Romoland Eastern MWD Rancho California Water District
Providence High School Burbank Burbank Water & Power
Riverside Poly High School Riverside Western MWD Riverside Public Utilities
Santana High School La Puente Three Valleys MWD
Savanna High School Anaheim Anaheim Public Utilities
Venice HS STEMM Magnet* Los Angeles Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
West Covina High School West Covina Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD

*Rookie Team

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