Annual solar/battery car competition gearing up
Middle school students from Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland and surrounding areas are called to race during Platte River Power Authority’s fourth annual solar and battery model car competition, known as the NoCo Time Trials.
“As we celebrate 50 years of proudly serving our owner communities, we’re excited to once again host the NoCo Time Trials for students to learn about solar and battery technology, and the future of energy in our state,” says Jason Frisbie, general manager and CEO of Platte River. “We want this event to inspire as many students as possible to pursue education and careers in energy, particularly during this transformative time in the electric utility industry.”
Registration to participate in this year’s NoCo Time Trials is currently open, with the event taking place at Platte River’s headquarters campus in Fort Collins on Saturday, May 6. Northern Colorado middle school teams who register on or before Friday, Feb. 10, will receive model car kits from Platte River. Competing teams and coaches are also offered program guidance so students can apply their science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) knowledge at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) state competition.
Forty-six student teams from 12 schools participated in the third annual regional event last year, most of who competed in NREL’s state tournament. Of the nine schools who placed in the state competition, eight participated in the NoCo Time Trials. Platte River’s time-trial event offers students an opportunity to put their cars to the test ahead of NREL’s tournament.
“This is a fun and unique opportunity for students in our communities to develop practical skills associated with their STEAM education,” says Javier Camacho, director of public and external affairs, strategic communications and social marketing for Platte River. “The feedback we receive from teachers and students is abundantly positive, and we’re excited to expand participation this year.”
The deadline for middle schools to sign up and guarantee receipt of car kits is Friday, Feb. 10. Platte River will make car kits available to teams at an information session to be scheduled this spring. For more information about the competition, visit prpa.org/noco-time-trials.