Omaha –Covered wagons, meet solar cars. University-designed and built solar-powered cars will trek 1,975 miles to nine national parks during the American Solar Challenge road rally from July 29 to August 6, 2016. The National Park Service Midwest Region is hosting this event to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and connect with the next generation of science innovators. Along the route, students and visitors will experience remarkable park stories, from the travels of pioneers to the struggles of Civil War to Civil Rights.
The public is invited to see the cars at each park along the route and enjoy other activities, includingdiscovering how climate change impacts the Midwest, making sun-heated s'mores, and exploring park resources.A public display of cars will take place on Friday, July 29 at Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville, Ohio with National Park Service Deputy Director Denise Ryan in attendance.
The American Solar Challenge timed rally begins at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio on July 30 and ends in Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota on August 6.Midway stops on the route include Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Homestead National Monument of America, and Scotts Bluff National Monument.
"Congratulations to the teams whose solar cars have qualified for the competition," said Regional Director Cam Sholly. "Their efforts highlight the ways the next generation is using innovation to explore potential solutions to complex environmental challenges. We're proud to showcase their work."
Every two years, the Innovators Educational Foundation organizes the American Solar Challenge, and this is the first year the organization has partnered with the National Park Service. "We're honored to be a part of the National Park Service Centennial and look forward to bringing the solar cars to national parks across the Midwest," says Event Organizer Gail Lueck.
For additional information about this event, please visit the nps.gov/mwro and join the conversation on Twitter @MidwestNationalParks and facebook.com/MidwestNationalParks. Track the solar cars using Google Earth from http://tracking.sporttraxx.com/races/solar-challenge-2016/. Photos are available on the American Solar Challenge website: http://americansolarchallenge.org/media/.
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