COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center is canceling or postponing all in-person programs and events through May 4. The Harris Center building will also be closed to visitors until May 4. Our trails and grounds remain open.

A Solar-Powered Day at the Races

June 5, 2019

It’s the 11th Annual Monadnock Region Solar Sprint!

On June 4, 105 students from Great Brook School, Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School, Jaffrey Grade School, Keene Middle School, St. Joseph’s School, and South Meadow School gathered at Adams Park in Peterborough for the 11th Annual Monadnock Region Solar Sprint, an annual solar-powered model car competition organized by the Harris Center. Students spent weeks designing and constructing their cars in preparation for the race, and a few extra minutes waiting for the clouds to pass so they could put their cars to the test. The following awards were given at this year’s competition:

1st Place for Speed: Francisco James & Miles Higgins of South Meadow School (car name: “The Eggcelerator”)
2nd Place for Speed: Aiden McClusky & Nathan Klonel of South Meadow School (car name: “Solar Roller”)
3rd Place for Speed: Aidan Cavanaugh & Sullivan Gray of Saint Joseph’s School (car name: “George”)
Best Craftsmanship: Andrew Pelkey of Jaffrey Grade School (car name: “Skywing”)
Most Innovative: Emma Fallon, Ashylyn Smith & Claire Cocklin of Keene Middle School (car name: “Team Woah”)
Best Use of Technology: Matthew Brown, Jason Robinson & Nick Logan of Saint Joseph’s School (car name: “Muppet Mafia”)
Kids’ Choice Award: Brooklyn Sainsbury & Bella Starr of South Meadow School (car name: “Turbo Turtle”)
Junkyard Derby (a race between cars constructed from spare parts on the day of the race): Caleb Cloutier & Carter Rousseau of South Meadow School (car name: “Coker Car 2.o”)

Andrew Pelkey of Jaffrey Grade School shows off his winning car ("Skywing") and his award for Best Craftsmanship.

Andrew Pelkey of Jaffrey Grade School shows off his winning car (

Brooklyn Letawkski and Bella Starr of South Meadow School, winners of the "Kids' Choice" Award, with their car, "Turbo Turtle."

Brooklyn Letawkski and Bella Starr of South Meadow School, winners of the

Francisco James & Miles Higgins of South Meadow School, winners of 1st Prize for Speed, show off their winning car ("The Eggceletor") and trophy.

Francisco James & Miles Higgins of South Meadow School, winners of 1st Prize for Speed, show off their winning car (

Middle school students cheer on their solar-powered model cars at the finish line of the 11th Annual Monadnock Region Solar Sprint.

Middle school students cheer on their solar-powered model cars at the finish line of the 11th Annual Monadnock Region Solar Sprint.

Many thanks are due: to the Peterborough Recreation Center for allowing us to once again transform the Adams Playground tennis courts into a solar-powered racetrack; to the teachers who coached their students on various elements of design, renewable energy, and sportsmanship; to our cadre of skilled volunteers for keeping things running smoothly as racetrack builders, design judges, line judges, scorekeepers, and pit stop helpers; and to the competitors for an awesome day of solar-powered learning!