NORRISTOWN, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) joined leadership from Philadelphia Solar Energy Association (PSEA) on Saturday for its 29th Annual Junior Solar Sprint competition, an event funded in part each year through a DEP environmental education grant.
“We’re so grateful for partners and projects that use their environmental education dollars in hands-on ways,” said DEP Southeast Regional Director Pat Patterson. “I’m confident at least one student racing here today will pursue a career in solar energy as a result of this program.”
The PSEA is a volunteer-based, member-supported nonprofit that promotes the adoption of solar energy in the Philadelphia region and beyond. Founded in 1980, PSEA has hosted the Junior Solar Sprint since 1993, encouraging students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Each year, students in 5th through 9th grades from as many as 20 schools design, build, and race model solar cars competing for top places in 4 categories.
“Solar is now the fastest growing form of energy in the world,” said PSEA Executive Director Liz Robinson. “It’s vitally important that our young people learn to harness its power.”
The DEP Environmental Education Grants Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5% of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. Since its inception, DEP has awarded $12.3 million in environmental education grant funding to support 2,134 projects.
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