Seventeen 7th and 8th graders joined the Friends School of Minnesota Engineering Club. Advisor Steve Moe (middle school science teacher) worked with students to build a solar boat to race in the Minnesota Solar Regatta in May.

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The Minnesota Solar Regatta is an annual event sponsored by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. Teams participating in the Solar Regatta build or modify a working boat (large enough to carry one student pilot) to compete in a series of races at Lake Riley in Eden Prairie.

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Before building the boat they raced in the Solar Regatta they built seven different model boats (approximately 1 meter long) from free plans they found online.
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They then tested these seven model boats in the pool at Hamline University. Based on the results of the model boat tests students began building two different life-sized boats. Students took these two boats to McMurray Lake in Roseville to compare their performance a few weeks ago. Based on time constraints and performance of the boats in that first test students threw all of their energy into completing the one boat they raced last weekend.

The FSM boat performed very well in the Solar Regatta earning two trophies: one trophy for the best new boat design and a second trophy for getting second place in the boat races.

– Steve Moe, Middle School Science Teacher