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CHS students create solar-powered boat for regatta
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Ceres High School manufacturing students tested the seaworthiness of the solar-driven boat they create in the campus shop by dropping it into the school swimming pool on Thursday. The boats are solar-powered and will be placed in competition at Rancho Seco Lake this Friday for the second annual SMUD Solar Regatta. - photo by Dale Butler

Excitement built on campus as test day approach.

Students, juniors and seniors from Ceres High School's Manufacturing Production and Green Technology Academy (MPGT), tested solar boats in the school swimming pool from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Thursday.

"We're really proud of our classmates," said junior Alyssa Sanchez. "Everyone has been working hard. It's pretty cool."

MPGT Academy students are preparing their boats for the 2nd Annual SMUD Solar Regatta competition, which will be staged at Rancho Seco Lake this Friday in Herald. The race will feature more than 20 solar-powered boats built by middle and high school students from different schools throughout the Valley.

"These kids are doing wonderful things for the community and promoting alternative energy solutions," said Ceres High Physics and Green Energy Academy Teacher Christopher Van Meter.

Jacob Craig, Tyler Osborn and their classmates completed tests last week for weight distribution, solar-panel power, hand-made electric motors and driving ability.

Students dedicated up to 40 hours building the boats throughout the school year.

Craig and Osborn piloted the senior and junior boats, respectively.

Approximately 111 students in grades 9-12 are enrolled in the MPGT Academy.

Students work in teams and use principles in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math to complete assignments.

"We do a lot of cross-curricular projects," noted Van Meter.