Penn Students Demonstrate Lockheed Martin-Funded Solar Car for Valley Forge Middle School Students
VALLEY FORGE, PA., 05/14/2004 --
Students at Valley Forge Middle School today got a firsthand look at an alternative-fuel vehicle designed and built by University of Pennsylvania students and primarily funded by Lockheed Martin through its annual philanthropic donation to the university.
The car doesn't require a drop of $2-a-gallon gasoline to run. More than 1,200 individual solar cells capture the sun's energy and store it in 13 lithium ion batteries. With the batteries fully charged, the car can travel 200 miles at a cruising speed of 35 mph.
The purpose of the car project was to show that you can do something completely useful with solar energy, said Penn student Mike Ashley.
Middle school students were given an overview of the solar car project, alternative-fueled vehicles and the Penn car's design. Following a question and answer session, students were taken outside for a demonstration and were allowed to touch and sit in the vehicle.
Close to 100 Penn students from mechanical, electrical and business disciplines were involved in the solar car project. Ten team members were on hand for today's middle school presentation.
According to James Sanchack, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Programs and the representative to the University of Pennsylvania, the project helps university students strengthen skills they will need in the workplace.
Problem solving is what we do for a living, said Sanchack. Our customers present us with complex problems and we solve them. The solar car project allowed the students to solve problems, thus enhancing and fine-tuning a skill that we value a great deal. And, programs like today's at Valley Forge Middle School help to excite young people to pursue engineering and science careers.
Lockheed Martin is dedicated to strengthening students' capabilities in K-12 math, science and technology and continuing that support through their college years. Lockheed Martin is engaged in numerous activities across the Delaware Valley that support school districts and promote students' interest and involvement in these subjects.