In less than a week, members of the Houston Solar Car Team will embark on an epic adventure in Australia, representing Northeast Mississippi halfway across the globe.
Fourteen students departed last week for the first leg of a trip that has them chasing the sun west to Australia to compete in the World Solar Car Challenge.
The Houston Solar Car has won 14 national solar car races in a row and now steps onto the world stage to race against universities and corporations in a 1,800-mile trek across the Australian Outback from Darwin to Adelaide. The Houston Solar Car is a product of the Houston School of Science and Technology.
The team flew out of Memphis for a six-hour flight to Los Angeles before grabbing a 20-hour flight to Sydney on their final route to Darwin. Once in Darwin, the team set about the business of getting Sundancer, their solar car, in shape for the race.
Though the actual race starts in Darwin this Sunday, the car was shipped to Australia weeks ago with an advance team of adults.
The race, which will last nearly a week, will take the students down the Stuart Highway to Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and finally Adelaide.
Throughout the race, students will get to experience the Australian Outback first-hand as they camp out each night of the race.
The experience, no doubt, will be an incredible one for all the students involved and a great way to reward their hard work and dedication.
Members of the 2015 Houston Solar Car team include: Allyson Taylor, Hunter Moore, Lakyn Adams, Summer Carner, Palmer Earnest, Greg Hollingsworth, Matthew Hood, James Ingram, Malik Lawrence, Ajay Patel, Hayden Powell, Cody Voyles, Layla Westmoreland and Jackson Whitt.
The race will culminate on Sunday, Oct. 25, with an awards ceremony in Adelaide featuring the Australian prime minister.
Though the team is no stranger to competition and recognition, any time a group of local high school students gets to represent our region outside of Mississippi there’s reason to celebrate.
That means our students truly are doing great things in our schools, and their work is so good they’re able to compete with students from across the globe.
Win or lose, these students have put a great deal of effort into this project and race. Their efforts are to be commended, and we wish them the best of luck as they represent their community and our region in the Land Down Under.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This Editorial was published in the Tuesday, Oct. 13, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and delivered to more than 40,000 homes and businesses across the state.