SARSEF

Every child. Thinking critically. Solving problems.

Donate

SARSEF Fair project registration is now open!

Register a project

A Day in the Life of A Public Ally at SARSEF: February Edition

By Katerina Guerrero

February is the month that many love, as the weather gets warmer and pinks and reds are spread throughout schools, offices and more to put a smile on your own face or someone close to you. This month I had a big smile, and it wasn’t because of the ‘you are amazing’ Valentine card I received in the office. It was because of Racing the Sun Career Days in Phoenix and Tucson.

Career Days are part of Racing the Sun, a program that challenges high school students to come together as a team to design, build, and race electric and solar-powered go-karts. To see this program in action, join us on April 27th for Race Day at Musselman Honda Track as a volunteer or spectator!

On Career Day, Racing the Sun participants visit companies and universities as part of a field trip designed to inspire them to understand and pursue STEM careers and education. They tour multiple facilities engaged in solar energy, engineering, transportation, and manufacturing. Because of the number of teams across the state, SARSEF hosts Career Days in both Phoenix and Tucson.

During Career Day in Phoenix, I had the amazing opportunity to go to ASU and visit the engineering buildings. I watched high school students get so excited to be on campus and see the many opportunities available to them. They met with ASU students and got to ask questions about their college-going experiences as well as the opportunities available to them in engineering. They went on a tour of the engineering campus and saw labs where they could do research as ASU undergraduates. After they toured the campus, students also had the chance to visit Rosendin and Legacy EV.

I joined one of the tours with Cesar Chavez High School students and their teacher, and I had the best time listening to what the students had to say. The tour was given by Valeria, a senior who came from Mexico City and moved to Arizona to study at ASU. She had the students so engaged and answered as many questions as she asked. Students saw the work ASU students were doing and connected it back to what they were doing in their classrooms. After each building, the teacher and students would huddle just to talk about what they were learning and how it could inform their project of building the go-kart. It was truly an inspiration to see these students so engaged and ready to dive right back into their projects after leaving the engineering campus.

Not only did we have Phoenix Career Day, but Tucson Career Day as well. Students had the opportunity to meet with UA College of Engineering, Musselman Honda, Texas Instruments, CATalyst, EMI, AGM, Howmet, and Creative Machines. Watching these students get involved in engineering happening in their own communities was amazing.

“Seeing our community come together to show our young engineers all they can become has been incredible. I have enjoyed watching the students get engaged with different fields and futures,” shared Anissa Alvarado, Racing the Sun Programs Manager.

This year’s Racing the Sun Career Days were amazing, and now I’m excited and ready for our Racing the Sun Race Day in April!

2023 Racing the Sun Winning Teams and Honorees

Congratulations to all the teams who participated in this year’s Racing the Sun (RTS). Racing the Sun is a hands-on, innovative engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race electric and solar-powered go-karts. Racing the Sun is a college preparatory program available to any Arizona high school.  

Working with teachers, mentors and industry professional advisors, students spend nine months preparing for Race Day. Along the way, they apply the principles of physics, engineering, and energy. Through collaborative efforts with school sites and educators, race teams solve real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students work in teams and are challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype and build leadership excellence skills.

Click here to view the 2023 Race Day Photo Album

Participating High Schools and Team Names:

  • Center for Academic Success Sierra Vista: CAS Maker and Standard (Sierra Vista, Arizona)
  • Desert Vista High School: Low Riders (Phoenix, Arizona)
  • Empire High School: The Raven Conspiracy (Tucson, Arizona)
  • McClintock High School : Solar Chargers (Tempe, Arizona)
  • Mica Mountain High School: The Thunder Sisters and Solar Storm (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Rio Rico High School: Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)
  • Salpointe Catholic High School: Salpointe Maker and Lancers (Tucson, Arizona)
  • San Miguel High School – Tucson: Viper Racing (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Shadow Ridge High School (Arizona): Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)
  • Sonoran Science Academy – Davis Monthan: Axle-Auto (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Tanque Verde High School: TVHS Solar Flares (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Willcox High School: Willcox Gearheads (Willcox, Arizona)
  • Williams Field High School: Eclipse of the Hawks (Gilbert, Arizona)

Racing the Sun Results

Honor to Advisors: John Sepp and Jay West

Division Award Winners:

  • Standard: Empire High School- The Raven Conspiracy (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Legacy: Salpointe Catholic High School- Lancers (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Maker: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Endurance Awards:

  • Standard: Mica Mountain High School- The Thunder Sisters (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Legacy: Rio Rico High School- Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)
  • Maker: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Speed Award Winners:

  • Standard: San Miguel High School- Viper Racing (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Legacy: Salpointe Catholic High School- Lancers (Tucson, Arizona)
  • Maker: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Best Verbal Presentation: Sonoran Science Academy- Davis Monthan- Axle-Auto (Tucson, Arizona)

Spirit Award: Rio Rico High School- Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)

Best Appearing Team and Kart: Rio Rico High School- Los Engineers (Rio Rico, Arizona)

Innovator Award: Desert Vista High School- Low Riders (Phoenix, Arizona)

Newcomer of the Year: San Miguel High School- Viper Racing (Tucson, Arizona)

Grand Champion: Shadow Ridge High School- Ridge Racers (Surprise, Arizona)

Coach of the Year: Derek Langley with Mica Mountain High School (Tucson, Arizona) and Cecilia Gossler with Salpointe Catholic High School (Tucson, Arizona)

If you would like to know more about SARSEF and how you can become engaged in STEM, volunteer for our organization, or donate, visit us at (https://sarsef.org/)

Press Release and Media Alert- You’re Invited!- Students from Across Southern Arizona Will Race Their Solar-Powered Go-Karts They Designed and Built Themselves

(Tucson, Arizona) On Saturday, April 29, 2023, SARSEF will be hosting Racing the Sun- Race Day where students from 15 Southern Arizona High Schools will race their solar-powered go-karts they designed and built themselves through SARSEF’s Racing the Sun program.

The event is a part of SARSEF’s year-round high school engineering programs and will take place at Musselman Honda Circuit (11800 S Harrison Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747) on April 29, 2023, from 12pm-3pm.

Racing the Sun is a hands-on, innovative engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race electric and solar-powered go-karts. Racing the Sun is a college preparatory program available to any Arizona high school.  

Working with teachers, mentors and industry professional advisors, students spend nine months preparing for Race Day. Along the way, they apply the principles of physics, engineering, and energy. Through collaborative efforts with school sites and educators, race teams solve real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students work in teams and are challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype and build leadership excellence skills.

The event will include hundreds of students and teachers, families, volunteers, as well exhibitors from organizations throughout the state encouraging careers in STEM and providing hands-on activities to the students. For the first time ever, we also have an all-girls team called The Thunder Sisters from Mica Mountain High School.

“I am thrilled to coach an all-girls Racing the Sun Team,” Derek Langley, Mica Mountain High School Teacher, shared. “I believe that any exposure to STEM in K-12 for young women will help increase the number of women who enter STEM fields. This all-girls team will give these women confidence in any future career, especially if they pursue engineering.”

Event Date: Saturday, April 29, 2023

Event Time: 12pm-3pm

Event Location: Musselman Honda Circuit, 11800 S Harrison Rd, Tucson, AZ 85747

About SARSEF:

SARSEF was formed in 1955 in an effort to increase student interest in the field of science. The mission of SARSEF is to engage Arizona’s Pre-K-12 grade students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through inquiry-based learning and research.

SARSEF accomplishes this mission through a variety of programming including a high school mentoring program, the STAR Lab, SARSEF Fair Week, educational outreach programs with an emphasis on underrepresented populations in the sciences, teacher professional development, ACES Camp for Middle School girls, Racing the Sun, and Arizona STEM Adventure.

To learn more about SARSEF programs and how students, teachers, and families can get involved, visit sarsef.org

Media Contact:

Yvonne Pysher, Director of Marketing and Communications

SARSEF

(520) 525-5230

yvonne@sarsef.org

DOWNLOAD PDF OF PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA ALERT

2022 Racing the Sun Winners

Congratulations to all the teams who participated in this year’s Racing the Sun (RTS), an engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race solar-powered go-karts.

Working with teachers and mentors, students spent nine months preparing for Race Day. Along the way, they applied physics, engineering, and energy. They solved real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills, and worked in teams to collaborate on ideas. They were all challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype, and along the way, they built leadership skills!

Participating Schools: Blue Ridge High School, Center for Academic Success, Mica Mountain High School, Peoria High School, Salpointe Catholic High School, Shadow Ridge High School, Sonoran Science Academy, Tanque Verde High School, Tucson High Magnet High School, and Wilcox High School.

Racing the Sun Results

Grand Champion (Legacy)

Center for Academic Success: Apollo’s Chariot

Grand Champion (Maker)

Shadow Ridge High School: Solar Stallions

Innovation (Legacy)

Salpointe Catholic High School: Salpointe Legacy

Innovation (Maker)

First: Tucson High Magnet School: Mecha Badgers

Second: Blue Ridge High School: Blue Ridge

Engineering Tenacity Award

Mica Mountain High School: MMHS Racing the Sun

Oral Presentations

First: Shadow Ridge High School: Solar Stallions

First: Center for Academic Success: Bear Metal

Second: Salpointe Catholic High School: Salpointe Maker

Bending the Rules

Sonoran Science Academy- Davis Monthan: Chaos Cerberus

Spirit Award

Center for Academic Success: Bear Metal

Coach of the Year

Eric Bennett with Shadow Ridge High School

High School Teams from across Arizona Race Solar-Powered Go-Karts of their own Design

Press Release – PDF

Students make final checks before their solar-powered go-kart is ready to race.

May 7, 2021

(Tucson, AZ) After two years of waiting, high school students from across the state participating in SARSEF’s Racing the Sun finally had their day to race the solar-powered go-karts they designed and built as teams with the help of their coaches and community mentors.

On April 24, 56 high school students gathered at Musselman Honda Circuit to evaluate their karts for safety and race. Due to the pandemic, Race Day 2020 was canceled, and so this year’s Race Day included Karts from both school years.

Nine teams from six schools competed at Race Day 2021. Teams were evaluated on the presentation of their design and build process, participation throughout the school year, and the performance of their kart during the race.

Blue Ridge High School built a maker kart with a chassis made from helicopter parts.

Students raced both standard and maker go-karts. Standard karts use a pre-fabricated steel frame chassis, while maker karts are for teams who build the kart from the ground up. At this year’s competition, Blue Ridge High School in Pinetop, AZ used the tail end of a helicopter as a lightweight chassis on their maker kart.

The Grand Champion of Racing the Sun 2021 was Salpointe High School’s Standard Kart. The Innovation Award went to Blue Ridge High School’s Maker Kart.

In the Standard Kart Division, the Efficiency Award went to Tanque Verde Solar Flares with Salpointe High School in second place. The Endurance Award went to Center for Academic Success with Tanque Verde Solar Flares in second place. The Speed Award went to Center for Academic Success with Salpointe High School in second place.

The Sal Pointe Maker Go-Kart rolls out onto the track.

In the Maker Kart Division, the Efficiency Award went to Salpointe High School with Blue Ridge High School in second place. The Endurance Award went to Shadow Ridge High School with Center for Academic Success in second place. The Speed Award went to Shadow Ridge High School with Salpointe High School in second place.

After an exciting ending to a long season, teams are already signing up to join the program for the 2021-2022 school year. For more information on how to start a team or get involved, contact SARSEF’s Chief Program Officer, Brooke Meyer, at brooke@sarsef.org.