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YES! team named state champs, competes in Solar Boat regatta

Glencoe-Silver Lake (GSL) High School’s Youth Energy Summit (YES!) group had a busy weekend May 20 and 21. At the Twins game on Sunday, the Glencoe-Silver Lake High School YES! Team was named 2016-2017 Youth Energy Summit state champions for their exemplary work to find solutions to today’s environmental challenges.
GSL’s Solar Boat team competed in the Minnesota Renewable Energy Societies’ Solar Boat Regatta on Saturday at Lake Riley in Eden Prairie. The Solar Boat team was scheduled to compete in three different races including speed, slalom and endurance, but the race was cut short because of the rain and temperature. The boat passed inspection right away and worked as designed in every event that they were able to run.
Team co-leader Terry Shogren said, “The team demonstrated knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to build a boat powered by the sun. Students built the boat from blueprints and wired a charge controller to a solar panel to charge a battery, which, in turn, ran a trolling motor.” The students spent roughly 15 to 20 hours building the boat.
The team went above and beyond by building a trailer and hitch that would fit onto the GSL Supermilage car to pull the boat. Unfortunately, because of the rain, they were not able to use the car to pull the boat, but they had built a handle they could use to pull it by hand from the parking lot to the beach. GSL’s team watched every other team make multiple trips to haul their boat, battery, and supplies, but the GSL students were able to make it in one trip using the trailer. As they were walking the boat to the lake on their trailer, they overheard other teams talk about how they wished they had made a trailer, or next year they should make one. Team members received multiple compliments about how good their boat looked throughout the day.
Mike Morris, co-leader of the team, said, “The boat performed well in every event. For how cold and wet it was, the kids never once complained about it – they were there to race!” He added, “The team did not win any of the events on Saturday, but there is one more award that will be drawn on Wednesday. The kids represented GSL very well and brought a fantastic boat to the event.”
This was the first time GSL students participated in the Solar Boat competition. Morris and Shogren, who both work in GSL’s Technology Department, were co-headers of the solar boat students from GSL’s YES! group. Participants were Tanner Novack, Cullen Lukes, Isaac Swift, Eric Villnow, Earl Janke, Ben Siers, Cole Mathwig and Anna Salgado.
On Sunday, the YES! Team was awarded $500 for winning the state-level competition Youth Energy Summit competition and was recognized before the start of the Twins game. The team received the 2017 West Central Regional All Star Award and was awarded $500, and then advanced to the state level. Supermileage Coach Mike Sundblad said, “The judges felt GSL’s team showed deep understanding of criteria, used strategic action, and proved excellent success. The judges were amazed by how much effort the students put into their project and how much time they dedicated to working on Supermileage and the solar boat.” Sundblad is Industrial Technology and Engineering instructor at GSL High School.
Members of the YES! team are Carl Hormann, Kole Polzin, Adam Thalman, Cole Mathwig, Tanner Novack, Eric Villnow, Jacob Jochum, Anna Salgado, Michaela Neyers, Roxanna Sanchez, Ben Siers, Blake Ortloff and Isaac Swift.
For more information about the Youth Energy Summit, visit www.youthenergysummit.org.