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Racing to the front
Middle schoolers win solar sprints
Chestatee Middle School in Hall County placed first in the speed and performance. CMS students pictured are: Salvador “Chava” Juarez, left, Creed Browning, center, and Ricardo Zumudio. In the back is team coach Glen Lawson.

JEFFERSON — It was anything but a regular school day for the 15 local middle schools students who participated in the Jackson Electric Membership Corporation Junior Solar Sprint competition May 3. Using one of the Earth’s brightest resources, the sun, students put their hand-built solar sprinters to the test in a fast-paced race competition at Road Atlanta in Braselton.

Chestatee Middle School’s solar sprint car took home gold, winning first place in speed/performance. Winder Barrow Middle School followed in second and West Hall Middle School was third.

In the best in design and engineering category, Winder Barrow Middle School placed first followed by North Gwinnett Middle in second and Creekland Middle School in third.

The best solar-powered model cars from each school were judged on performance and design in the regional competition. All participants received identical solar panels and motors in kits; however, students could select other materials for the chassis, wheels and transmissions.

Encouraged to use math and science principles, students also had the opportunity to be creative in the hands-on educational program. In addition to qualifying race times, cars were judged on design, craftsmanship and performance.

“The JSS is designed to teach principles of energy and science in a fun and exciting atmosphere that’s teaching our young folks about alternative energy sources,” saidRandall Pugh, president and CEO.

Banks, Chestatee, Creekland, Dacula, East Hall, East Jackson, Frank Osborne, Kings Bridge, Madison, North Gwinnett, North Hall, Richard Hull, Sweetwater, West Hall and Winder Barrow middle schools competed this year. Middle schools in Jackson EMC’s service territory were selected to join in this educational, solar showdown event.

For more information about the JSS program, visit or see Jackson EMC on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube.