The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Directorate of Human Capital Office in Vicksburg, Mississippi, recently hosted a Junior Solar Sprint Competition on the ERDC-Vicksburg campus. Approximately 30 students in grades six through eight from local schools participated in the first-time event.
JSS, an Army Educational Outreach Program, provides a hands-on opportunity for students to apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts. Students use their creativity, teamwork and problem solving skills as they design, construct and race solar-powered model cars. Student teams are evaluated in the areas of engineering notebook, artisanship, engineering of the model and racing performance.
Volunteers from ERDC’s Castle Club, the Mississippi Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Vivian Burey Marshall STEM Pilot Initiative and the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Team 456 worked together to provide students with a fun-filled day of interactive STEM activities. ERDC Commander Col. Bryan Green and Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs were on hand to welcome the participants and challenge them to continue their STEM-related pursuits.
“This was a great first-time event for the ERDC, and the DHC really appreciated the student and volunteer turn out. Everyone who participated had a great time and enjoyed the races,” said event coordinator Rick Tillotson.
The winning team qualified for the National JSS Competition to be held in Orlando, Florida later in the summer.