Island teens claim top prize in solar car challenge

At the National Solar Car Challenge held at the Texas Motor Speedway in July, the Raisbeck Aviation High School Green Energy Team — including Bainbridge Island residents Nic Nemeth and George Sidles — won all four days of racing and finished as the overall winner in their division.

The team also was awarded the William Shih Award, which is presented to the first-year solar car team displaying the highest level of technological achievement.

Team Co-Captain George Sidles was one of the awardees of the Order of the Solar Cell, presented to “those extremely special people who believe in high school solar car racing, and the great students who make it happen.”

Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila, part of the Highline School District, is an aviation- and aerospace-themed STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) school of about 400 students.

As part of their school’s Green Energy Team, Sidles Nemeth, along with their teammates, competed this year in the prestigious Solar Car Challenge: a closed-track endurance race held at the famous Texas Motor Speedway.

Typically, it marks the end of an intensive 15-month cycle of design and construction, during which time teams from around the country take their ideas from the blackboard to the blacktop.

The RAHS team, however, put wheels to pavement in just a single year.

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