Junior Solar Sprint (JSS)

The Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) is a model solar electric car program recognized nationwide as an innovative way to inspire middle school students to study in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering. Through hands-on experimentation, students learn how to build model solar cars and tackle issues in engineering process, properties of materials, forces and motion, electricity and magnetism, ratios and geometry and craftsmanship. Along the way, students explore scientific concepts and technologies that can help our country address issues of global climate change, reduce air and water pollution and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of fuel.

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JSS has been administered by the Technology Student Association (TSA) since 2011. Only students who are in a registered TSA chapter or those who compete at an approved regional Army hosted event are eligible to compete in the national JSS competition. The national JSS competition is held at the annual national TSA conference.

Students grades 5-8 are eligible to compete in JSS competitions. The program challenges students to apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts, creativity, teamwork and problem solving skills as they design, construct and race a solar-powered car.

Participants experience the automotive design process when they research and conceptualize a design, make drawings, build a model from the design and race the solar-powered car model. Entries are evaluated on creativity and innovation, the display, documentation notebook, the artisanship and engineering of the model solar car and the model’s racing performance.

Educators can find resources such as lesson plans, syllabi and tutorials here. In addition, educators can view how participation in JSS supports the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) standards here