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|