OWLS HEAD – Three teams of Auburn Middle School eighth-graders made their pilgrimage to the Owls Head Transportation Museum with teacher Jim Rowe. They competed against 38 other teams in the 11th Junior Solar Sprint model solar car state championship sponsored by the Maine Energy Education Program.

Weeks before they had been handed a solar panel and a motor and challenged to construct a vehicle powered only by the energy of the sun. On June 4, rubber met the road.

The Falcons left their mark under the blue skies at Owls Head, taking three of the top five places for speed.

“Solar Speed,” created by Neil Pomerleau, Stephen McDonough and Jeremy Daigle, came in second behind the “Harleb Rocket” of Kennebunk Middle School. “Renegade,” with Kevin Landry, Jake Naum and Michael Pohl, placed fourth, just ahead of Christian Mitchell’s fifth place “Spitfire.”

The medals kept piling up for Auburn. “Renegade” tied Stratton’s “Blue Man” for first place in craftsmanship. “Solar Speed” took second in craftsmanship, innovation and technical merit (tied with “Renegade”).

All three teams traveled recently to the Museum of Science in Springfield, Mass., home of Theodore Sues Guise. There they took take their place among the top 100 cars from the Maryland to Maine, each jockeying for solar supremacy in the Northeastern Championship. In fact, it was a hazy sky, requiring battery packs for parts of the day. The Falcons returned empty handed.

For more information, contact Peter Zack Jr. at 625-7833 or [email protected]

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