Junior Solar Sprints

Junior Solar Sprints Race

What is Junior Solar Sprints?

The Junior Solar Sprints program is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) competition that engages students to design, build and race solar-powered model cars. For JSS participants, materials (including solar panels), instruction and professional development workshops are provided free of charge. The program also adheres to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

2021 Junior Solar Sprints – A Virtual Event!

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, TransOptions has shifted our traditional JSS event to a virtual format.


Students will compete by submitting videos showcasing the functionality of the solar cars, while also explaining their research on sustainable energy, material choices and gears. These videos will be short, 2-3 minutes each, and will be posted on our Junior Solar Sprints YouTube channel. The videos will be judged by virtual volunteers for points in Solar Energy, Craftsmanship, Engineering, Upcycled Materials and Video presentation. We have created a rubric so you can see what the judges will be using to score the videos. As usual, teams can be 1-4 students. One video submission per team. Max of 6 submissions per school/organization.

The compromise of having this be a virtual event means that we will not have a Speed category for this year. Additionally, we have streamlined the awards structure and will be giving out monetary prizes this year! Here is the breakdown:

  • 1st place – the video with the most overall points across every category, the team that submitted this video wins a $100 Amazon gift card
  • Runner Up – the video with the second most points, the team that submitted this video wins a $75 Amazon gift card
  • We will also have Category Winners – the video with the most points in an individual category. The team that submitted the video with the most points in the following categories will receive a $50 Amazon gift card:
    • Engineering
    • Craftsmanship
    • Upcycled Materials
    • Student Choice – video with the most likes on our JSS YouTube channel; the team that submitted the video receives a $25 Amazon gift card.

Team video submissions are not eligible to receive multiple awards, excluding Student Choice

Updated Rules for 2021

Updated Judging Rubric for 2021


Important Dates:

March 30th

Google form sent out to all JSS educators asking for names of potential participants, used to gauge virtual attendance.

April 30th

Registration forms will be due April 30th and these will be used to create the judging score sheets.

May 10th

Videos will be due May 10th via Google drive.

May 24th

Winners will be announced on YouTube on May 24th. Be sure to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss it! Click here to subscribe.

Email our Environmental Education Manager here to add your name to our JSS educator list – you will receive our monthly JSS updates as well as additional information as deadlines get closer.

Who Can Participate?

Teams consist of up to four students.

  • Students in grades 6 through 8
  • Students between the ages of 11 and 14 participating in community or afterschool groups
  • Students who live or attend school in TransOptions’ service area