Heading into racing competition, Norte Vista has the top preliminary score among the 38 teams from across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties that are competing in the three-day solar-powered boat competition at Metropolitan’s southwest Riverside County reservoir. Teams will qualify on the water today before racing competition begins Saturday (May 19) and culminates Sunday (May 20).
Norte Vista’s early lead is based on preliminary scores earned in the months leading up to this weekend, with the team notching 345 points out of 360. Many of those points came from Norte Vista’s informative and light-hearted public service message, which offered fellow students tips on how to conserve water.
Under Solar Cup’s public service message component, teams produced Snapchat-based videos and photo campaigns encouraging people to conserve water, based on this year’s theme “Water conservation: it’s not about the weather, it’s about forever.” In addition to the 230 points earned for its public service entry, Norte Vista earned high scores for two technical progress reports and meeting various deadlines.
“We have some great conservation-themed messages this year—these teams really took the water conservation message to heart and crafted creative, effective messages to share with their communities and encourage them to make conservation a way of life,” said Solar Cup coordinator Julie Kalbacher, a state-certified teacher with Metropolitan’s education programs. “Now, the fun on the water begins.”
Closely trailing Norte Vista is Huntington Beach’s Coast High School in second place, with 341 points. Burbank High School and Narbonne High School in Harbor City are tied for third place, each with 340 points. Costa Mesa High School is leading the pack of rookie teams.
The more than 600 students participating in this year’s Solar Cup have been working after school and on weekends for months to build their boats, making them as fast and reliable as possible using the math and science they’ve learned in class and the engineering lessons they received during Metropolitan’s boat-building workshops.
“Now they get to put all that hard work to a very fun test,” Kalbacher said. “These kids are competing, but more than that, they’re having fun, helping one another, and learning about engineering and natural resources.”
Today’s qualifying events will ensure boats are safe and seaworthy. The competition heats up Saturday when the single-seat, 16-foot boats outfitted with solar-collection panels compete in endurance races around a 1.6-kilometer course in the morning and afternoon.
On Sunday, the boats’ solar panels are removed and their energy-storing capabilities are put to the test as they compete in 200-meter sprint races powered by solar energy stored in batteries.
The races will be followed by an awards ceremony, with trophies awarded in veteran and rookie divisions for teams with the highest points, as well as to teams honored for “Hottest-Looking Boat,” teamwork and sportsmanship.
The races are easily visible from the shore, and the event is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission and parking. Lake Skinner is at 37701 Warren Road, Winchester, in the Temecula Valley of southwest Riverside County—about 10 miles northeast of the Rancho California Road exit off Interstate 15.
Over the past 16 years, more than 10,000 students have participated in Solar Cup. The program began in 2002 with eight teams and about 80 students. In the years since, it has grown into the nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition.
The competition allows students to apply their skills in math, physics, engineering and communications and learn more about Southern California’s water sources and alternative energy development. It has inspired future engineers, water resource managers and conservationists, helping build the workforce needed to produce smart solutions to future environmental and water problems.
Teams are divided into four regions—the Foothill, Central & Bay, Inland Empire and South Counties regions. Solar Cup also includes a rookie division for first-time teams.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established 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.
List of 2018 Solar Cup Teams
Member Agency Sponsor
|Anaheim Public Utilities||Anaheim High School||Anaheim Union HS District||Anaheim|
|Burbank Water & Power||Burbank High School||Burbank USD||Burbank|
|Long Beach Water Department||Cabrillo High School**||Long Beach USD||Long Beach|
|Las Virgenes MWD||Calabasas High School||Las Virgenes USD||Calabasas|
|Inland Empire Utilities Agency*||Chino High School||Chino Valley USD||Chino|
|Municipal Water District of Orange County*||Coast High School||Huntington Beach Union HS District||Huntington Beach|
|City of Compton||Compton High School||Compton USD||Compton|
|Municipal Water District of Orange County*||Costa Mesa High School**||Newport Mesa USD||Costa Mesa|
|San Diego County Water Authority||Del Lago Academy||Escondido Unified HS District||Escondido|
|Central Basin MWD||Downey High School||Downey USD||Downey|
|Western MWD*||Elsinore HS / Lakeside HS||Lake Elsinore USD||Wildomar|
|Los Angeles Department of Water and Power||Franklin High School||Los Angeles USD||Los Angeles|
|Three Valleys MWD*||Fremont Academy of Engineering & Design||Pomona USD||Pomona|
|Three Valleys MWD*||Ganesha High School||Pomona USD||Pomona|
|Eastern MWD||Hemet USD Team||Hemet USD||Hemet|
|San Diego County Water Authority||High Tech High North County||San Marcos USD||San Marcos|
|Pasadena Water & Power||John Muir High School||Pasadena USD||Pasadena|
|San Diego County Water Authority||Kearny High School (School of Engineering, Innovation & Design)**||San Diego USD||San Diego|
|Foothill MWD*||La Cañada High School||La Cañada USD||La Cañada Flintridge|
|Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD||Los Altos High School||Hacienda La Puente USD||Hacienda Heights|
|Inland Empire Utilities Agency*||Los Osos High School||Cucamonga School District||Rancho Cucamonga|
|Long Beach Water Department||McBride High School||Long Beach USD||Long Beach|
|West Basin MWD||Mira Costa High School||Manhattan Beach USD||Manhattan Beach|
|Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD||Mountain View High School||El Monte Union HS District||El Monte|
|Los Angeles Department of Water and Power||Narbonne High School||Los Angeles USD||Harbor City|
|Western MWD*||Norte Vista High School||Riverside USD||Riverside|
|Eastern MWD||Nuview Bridge Early College HS||Nuview Union School District||Nuevo|
|Municipal Water District of Orange County*||Oxford Academy||Cypress School District||Cypress|
|West Basin MWD||Palos Verdes Peninsula High School||Palos Verdes Peninsula USD||Rolling Hills Estates|
|Central Basin MWD||Paramount High School West||Paramount USD||Paramount|
|Eastern MWD||Perris Union High SD Team (Heritage HS; Paloma Valley HS; Perris HS)||Romoland School District||Romoland|
|Western MWD*||Riverside Poly High School||Riverside USD||Riverside|
|Three Valleys MWD||San Dimas High School||Bonita USD||San Dimas|
|Long Beach Water Department||Sato High School||Long Beach USD||Long Beach|
|Inland Empire Utilities Agency*||Upland High School**||Chaffey Joint Union High SD||Upland|
|Los Angeles Department of Water and Power||Venice HS STEMM Magnet||Los Angeles USD||Los Angeles|
|West Basin MWD||Waterfront Education**||Los Angeles USD||Redondo Beach|
|Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD||West Covina High School||West Covina USD||West Covina|
|* = has co-sponsor(s)|
|** = Rookie|