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Inland Solar Challenge Gets Students Revved Up

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San Bernardino, California – More than 100 high school students throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties came together to compete in the Annual Inland Solar Challenge held at Yucaipa Regional Park on the weekend of May 20. The challenge requires local high school teams to build their own solar powered boats and then race against each other. The challenge also required teams to prepare a water conservation report and create a public service announcement.

“I’m proud of all the teams, they were cooperative and competitive at the same time. The Challenge teaches the kids about water conservation while they are having fun,” Said June Hayes, Board Member with San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District.

This year’s winning high school teams included:

  • Cajon High School, first place
  • Yucaipa High School, second place
  • Redlands East Valley High School, third place

Additional high school teams competing in this year’s event included Banning, Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, and Rialto.

The three-day event, which began Friday, required students to race against each other in wooden 16-foot, solar powered boats that they had built themselves. The solar boat competition included an endurance test, a slalom challenge, and a sprint race. All teams were required to prepare and present a public service announcement video about water conservation.

The Inland Solar Challenge is made possible by a volunteer committee comprised of several water agencies; East Valley Water District, City of Redlands, San Bernardino Municipal Water Department, West Valley Water District, and Yucaipa Valley Water District. The water districts and other public agencies donated funding to the high school teams to use for the purchase of solar panels, batteries and other equipment needed to construct their boats. San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District and San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency also donated $5,000 and $2,500, respectively, to pay for additional costs associated with the competition.

For more information about the race, contact Ron Merckling, at 909 387-9229 or at More information can also be found by visiting the Inland Solar Challenge website at

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