First-Ever Local Effort of Students Putting Solar Energy to Work

During the recent Maritime Gig Fest Weekend, fun, festive, and water-friendly activities were held for people of all ages along the Gig Harbor Waterfront.  That was especially true for an enterprising group of Purdy and Voyager Elementary School students who put both sun and water to work at the Solar Boat Challenge.

The Solar Boat Challenge was a friendly competition between Purdy and Voyager elementary students who had just completed a science program learning all about simple solar-powered machines.   On Sunday, June 4, while many enjoyed The Blessing of the Fleet in front of Jerisich Dock, these students readied their watercraft for a series of races just outside the Harbor History Museum. Through scientific trial and error, individuals and student teams learned what elements created a winning combination of materials and workmanship for their solar boat creations.   Called Solar 4R Schools, this event was part of an ongoing partnership between PenLight, Harbor History Museum, Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Peninsula Schools teaching students how to harness the power of clean energy.

Making a solar boat Solar Boat almost finished

Solar Boat race start  Solar Boat race in progress