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Saturday's lack of sunshine doesn't derail solar car races

Several children stand at a table around a man in blue holding a book.
Tom Flanigan
WFSU Public Media
Before the competition began, each of the student's cars underwent a careful inspection to ensure they met the official event specifications.

Tallahassee area grade school students were racing their little homemade solar cars on Saturday. The ferocious competition took place at Buck Lake Elementary School.

"Are you guys ready? Are you sure you're ready? Set...Go!!!"

With that, the little vehicles were off and running on a track through the school's cafeteria. The plan had been to hold the races outside, but Saturday's showers precluded that. The 7th Annual Regional Energy Whiz Expo was hosted by ReThink Energy Florida; Veronica Carver, the organization's assistant director of communications, said the lack of sun actually provided additional teachable moments.
"So today, we're learning about the importance of batteries. And just how important those, and having a backup plan, are!"

That was in addition to, she said, inspiring more young people to go into science and technology careers and to expand the vistas of solar and other forms of sustainable energy."

"And we have a winner!" came the announcement at the end of the first race as the crowd applauded and cheered.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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