Connecting Minnesotans with Renewable Energy Resources

Solar Boat Regatta set for May 21 in Eden Prairie

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society is hosting the 24th Annual Solar Boat Regatta 10 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Lake Riley in Eden Prairie.

A Virginia High School student steers his team's boat at last year's regatta. (Submitted photo)

A Virginia High School student steers his team’s boat at last year’s regatta. (Submitted photo)

The Regatta consists of a speed race, slalom race and a one-hour endurance race. Generally part of the STEM curriculum, various schools from across the state are registered for the event, including Orono High School and Orono Middle School, Rochester STEM Academy, Sanford Middle School, Virginia High School, Hutchinson High School and City Academy High School and Friend School of Minnesota, both located in St. Paul.

“This will be our third year at Lake Riley,” said Mark Weber, board secretary for Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. “I live in Eden Prairie, so I thought we should have one here and that Lake Riley would be a great location.”

Founded in Minneapolis in 1978, Minnesota Renewable Energy Society seeks “to advance a sustainable society and a renewable energy economy through education, leadership and example.”

According to Weber, the Orono High School team built a carbon fiber boat that can go up to 22 mph.

Weber said he is particularly excited to see all the students coming together to learn.

“They can study the topics, but when you make and it put it together, you learn much better,” he said.

  “Plus, the competition aspect makes it more exciting for the students.”

The awards include cash prizes of $100 or less, along with various trophies. Weber said that they expect to see about 200-300 onlookers at the event.

Though Eden Prairie schools have not yet participated in the event, Weber hopes to see the list of registered participants expand.

“To see so many happy kids in one spot just brings joy to my heart,” Weber said.

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