Students learn about conservation, electrical and mechanical engineering, teamwork and more
Riverside, CA – Western Municipal Water District (Western) has announced it will sponsor four teams from its service area in western Riverside County to participate in the 2019 Solar Cup Competition. Solar Cup is an annual high school education program hosted by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) and open to all areas within Metropolitan’s 26 member agencies. This past summer, eligible high schools throughout the 527 square mile service area applied to earn placement as one of Western’s teams. A total of four teams were selected from the region. A collaborative veteran team, consisting of Elsinore High School, Lakeside High School and Temescal Canyon High School, will represent Lake Elsinore. A second veteran team will participate from Norte Vista High School in Riverside. Two rookie teams, Centennial High School in Corona and Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Eastvale, will be competing for the first time.
“Once again, the Lake Elsinore team is a collaboration of three local high schools. The Elsinore High School students will work to implement the mechanical components of the boat. The students from Lakeside High School will draft the required technical reports and a public service announcement, and the Temescal Canyon High School students will handle the engineering and machine shop skills,” shared Rick Wolter, lead advisor for the Lake Elsinore team. “Our students appreciate, and look forward to, Solar Cup every year. Some of our team members face learning disabilities. This competition and the support they get from their Solar Cup teammates encourages them to come to school and work toward a larger goal. The skills they learn from the competition will translate into other areas of their lives.”
The competition begins this fall with planning and a boat-building workshop. Students will build a solar powered boat, about the size of a small canoe, using standard boat kits provided by Metropolitan. Throughout the year, with the sponsorship funding provided by local water agencies, the students will customize the standard boat kit and experiment with various elements of the boat to increase speed, power and efficiency. They will be required to complete two technical reports, develop a public service announcement, and perform other tasks to earn points in the competition.
The student’s hard work and effort culminates during the race weekend held at Lake Skinner from May 17-19, 2019, where teams will qualify for sprint and endurance races. With one student as the skipper in the driver’s seat, boats will motor through races aided only by solar power. Overall scores will be compiled from the races in addition to workshops and technical reports submitted throughout the year.
“Western is proud to award Solar Cup sponsorships for schools within our service area.” stated Craig Miller, general manager at Western. “The hands-on skills that these students gain through Solar Cup are best taught outside the classroom. These sponsorships help provide an opportunity to learn about natural resource conservation, engineering, problem solving, teamwork and an awareness of careers in the water industry.”
As a Metropolitan member agency, Western was permitted to sponsor four teams. The local agency co-sponsors for this year’s competition are Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District for the Elsinore team; the City of Corona Department of Water and Power for the Corona team; Jurupa Community Services District for the Eastvale team; and the City of Riverside Public Utilities for Norte Vista High School team. Sponsorship amounts vary from $2,500 for the veteran teams to $4,000 for the rookie teams.
Western Municipal Water District provides water supply, wastewater disposal and water resource management to the public in a safe, reliable, environmentally sensitive and financially responsible manner.