The blazing Texas sun will replace high-priced gas at Dell's largest-ever international high school solar car race, kicking off here Monday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Dell and the Winston School in Dallas will host 18 high school race teams from the United States, India and Puerto Rico that hand-built their road-ready solar cars to compete in the 11th annual Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge. 2006 marks Dell's fifth year as the event's title sponsor.
The 10- to 12-student teams competing in the four-day competition come from the following cities:
-- Baton Rouge, La.
-- Choctaw, Miss.
-- Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
-- Ocean Springs, Miss.
-- Houston, Miss. (two teams)
-- Newburgh, N.Y. (two teams)
-- Decatur, Miss.
-- St. Johns, Ariz.
-- Mendota Heights, Minn.
-- Bangalore, Karanataka, India
-- Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, India
-- Round Rock, Texas
-- Ridgway, Colo.
-- Walnut, Calif.
-- Carthage, Miss.
"The solar car challenge has taught more than 3,000 participating students about technology, teamwork and commitment; and it has inspired thousands of others to get involved in long-term science projects," said Dr. Lehman Marks, race director and instructor at The Winston School, a private K-12 school in Dallas focused on realizing the potential of bright children through individualized learning. "Dell's commitment to education has helped make this program's continued success possible."
The teams used Dell notebooks to help with the engineering and design of their solar cars, some of which have been in production for 18 months, and event judges will use wireless-enabled Dell Inspiron(TM) notebooks to monitor daily team statistics. These statistics will be uploaded daily to www.winstonsolar.org, where parents and other fans can track each team's performance real-time.
"This hands-on, experiential learning program helps students develop 21st century skills, like teamwork, problem solving, math and science, that they'll need to compete in today's digital economy," said Karen Bruett, vice president of Dell's K-12 education business. "The race is also an example of how a global company such as Dell can deliver local benefits -- in this case, a learning opportunity for some truly bright students."
Each year, the Dell-Winston Solar Car Challenge rotates between the Texas Motor Speedway and a cross-country route. Last year's participants took a nine-day trek from Round Rock, Texas, to Pasadena, Calif. During next year's cross-country race -- scheduled from Round Rock to New York -- the solar car teams will use Dell notebooks to gauge solar car battery usage, monitor weather patterns and track competitors via global positioning systems.
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Dell Inc., Round Rock Michelle Mosmeyer, 512-723-2408 Email Contact or Dean Kline, 512-728-8626 Email Contact