Long Beach’s McBride High School Team to Beat as Three-Day Solar Cup™ Kicks off at Lake Skinner

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TEMECULA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Long Beach’s McBride High School has taken an early lead in Metropolitan Water District’s 15th annual Solar Cup™, which launches today at Lake Skinner in southwest Riverside County.

Heading into racing competition, McBride has the top preliminary score among the 43 teams from across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties that are competing in the three-day solar-powered boat competition. Teams will qualify on the water today before racing competition begins Saturday (May 20) and culminates Sunday (May 21).

McBride’s early lead is based on preliminary scores earned in the months leading up to this weekend, with the team notching a perfect 360 points out of 360. Many of those points came from McBride’s public service message, which encouraged lifelong water conservation in Long Beach.

Under Solar Cup’s public service message component, teams produce a short video or social media campaign encouraging people to conserve water, based on this year’s theme “Changing Climate, Lifelong Conservation.” In addition to the 250 points earned for its PSA, McBride earned perfect scores for two technical progress reports and meeting various deadlines.

Closely trailing McBride is Cypress’s Oxford Academy in second place, with 353 points. Downey High School and last year’s Solar Cup winner, Riverside Poly High School, are tied for third place, each with 345 points.

“These teams have been working hard afternoons, nights and weekends to make their boats as fast and reliable as possible, putting to use what they’ve learned in their math and science classes and in Metropolitan engineering and boat-building workshops,” said Solar Cup coordinator Julie Kalbacher, a state-certified teacher with Metropolitan’s education programs. “Now all of that hard work will be put to the test over the next few days.”

“While it does get competitive, the best part is, everyone has a great time. The spirit of teamwork really carries the day, even between teams, especially when they are forced to troubleshoot unexpected problems that come up. And all of these kids walk away with a greater understanding of alternative energy development and the value of our water resources,” Kalbacher continued.

More than 700 participating students will first be put through a series of qualifying events today to ensure their boats meet rules and 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.

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 15 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 educational competition allows students to apply their skills in math, physics, engineering and communications and learn more about Southern California’s water sources, conservation and alternative energy development. It has inspired future engineers, water resource managers and conservationists, and helped the region build the workforce needed to produce smart solutions to its environmental and water supply 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.

Learn more about Solar Cup at mwdh2o.com and here. Longer videos are also available for use here. Photos and video of this year’s event will be available upon request.

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.

2017 Solar Cup School List

City

  School Name   Member Agency Sponsor   Co-Sponsor Agencies
Los Angeles   Academia Avance   Los Angeles DWP    
Huntington Park   Alliance Collins Family College Ready High School   Central Basin MWD    
Anaheim   Anaheim High School   Anaheim Public Utilities    
Arcadia   Arcadia High School   Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD    
Los Angeles   Banning Academies of Creative And Innovative Sciences (BACIS)   Los Angeles DWP    
Burbank   Burbank High School   Burbank Water & Power    
Calabasas   Calabasas High School   Las Virgenes MWD    
Chino   Chino High School   Inland Empire Utilities Agency   City of Chino
Chino Hills   Chino Hills High School   Inland Empire Utilities Agency   City of Chino Hills
Huntington Beach   Coast High School   Municipal Water District of OC   City of Huntington Beach
Compton   Compton High School   City of Compton    
Escondido   Del Lago Academy   San Diego County Water Authority    
Pomona   Diamond Ranch High School   Three Valleys MWD   Walnut Valley Water District, City of Pomona
Downey   Downey High School   Central Basin MWD    
Wildomar   Elsinore HS / Lakeside HS   Western MWD   Elsinore Valley MWD
Lawndale   Environmental Charter High School   West Basin MWD    
Los Angeles   Franklin High School   Los Angeles DWP    
Pomona   Fremont Academy of Engineering & Design   Three Valleys MWD   City of Pomona
San Marcos   High Tech High North County   San Diego County Water Authority    
Norwalk   John Glenn High School   Central Basin MWD    
Pasadena   John Muir High School   Pasadena Water & Power    
Fontana   Kaiser High School   Inland Empire Utilities Agency   Fontana Water Company
La Cañada Flintridge   La Cañada High School   Foothill MWD   La Cañada Irrigation District, Valley Water Co.
La Puente   La Puente High School   Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD    
Lennox   Lennox Academy   West Basin MWD    
Rancho Cucamonga   Los Osos High School   Inland Empire Utilities Agency   Cucamonga Valley Water
Long Beach   McBride High School   Long Beach Water Department    
Manhattan Beach   Mira Costa High School   West Basin MWD    
El Monte   Mountain View High School   Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD    
Murrieta   Murrieta Mesa High School   Eastern MWD   Rancho California Water District
Riverside   Norte Vista High School   Western MWD   Riverside Public Utilities
Nuevo   Nuview Bridge Early College HS   Eastern MWD   Rancho California Water District
Cypress   Oxford Academy   Municipal Water District of OC   Golden State Water
Palos Verdes Estates   Palos Verdes High School   West Basin MWD    
Paramount   Paramount High School West   Central Basin MWD    
Romoland   Perris Union High SD Team (Heritage HS; Paloma Valley HS; Perris HS)   Eastern MWD   Rancho California Water District
Burbank   Providence High School   Burbank Water & Power    
Riverside   Riverside Poly High School   Western MWD   Riverside Public Utilities
San Dimas   San Dimas High School   Three Valleys MWD   Golden State Water
La Puente   Santana High School   Three Valleys MWD   Rowland Water District
Temecula   Temecula Valley Team (Chaparral HS/ Great Oak HS /Temecula Valley HS)   Eastern MWD   Rancho California Water District
Los Angeles   Venice HS STEMM Magnet   Los Angeles DWP    
West Covina   West Covina High School   Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD    
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