Last Friday, more than 100 students from 12 Arizona schools competed with their custom-made solar-powered karts on the track at the Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, AZ. Among those rooting the teams on were people from electrical contractor Rosendin, which has been a program sponsor for the Racing the Sun competition since 2016. Individuals from the company mentor students and teach them how to construct a solar powered go kart over the course of a school year. This year, Rosendin worked with students from Independence High School in Glendale, AZ, bringing student teams into its pre-fabrication department to introduce them to new ideas and best practices for building their go-kart in preparation for Race Day on April 27.
The Rosendin and Independence High School team placed sixth overall, and their fastest lap time was 80.219 seconds, Rosendin said in a press release.
“At Rosendin, we are constantly looking for opportunities to introduce students to the potential of a career in electrical contracting, construction, and engineering,” said Brandon Stephens, Division Manager at Rosendin. “We want to encourage students of all ages that there are many STEM career paths available to them, including right here in Tempe at Rosendin. We are proud to support programs like Racing the Sun as one of our many workforce development initiatives to create the Rosendin employees of tomorrow.”
Racing the Sun is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program that started in 2011 to teach students to solve problems using solar energy in a real-world experience. Students must complete a series of milestones, participate in workshops, create technical drawings, conduct presentations, work with mentors like Rosendin employees, and attend field trips.
“Racing the Sun addresses a top concern facing many companies, the lack of a skilled STEM workforce. The program is designed to introduce students to career pathways in STEM based industries,” said Matt Massic, the Engineering Instructor at Independence High School. “We are grateful for the support that companies like Rosendin provide, including both supporting the program generally as well as helping one of our student teams learn from some of the best in the industry.”