FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2012
SCHUMER ASKS PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HOST NEWBURGH FREE ACADEMY STUDENTS TO WHITE HOUSE AFTER WINNING GLOBAL SOLAR CAR COMPETITION – NEWBURGH STUDENTS WENT UP AGAINST COLLEGE GROUPS TO BUILD WINNING VEHICLES
Schumer Congratulates Newburgh Student Group For Winning ‘Solar Prototype Championship’ and Urges President Obama To Host Students in Washington – Newburgh Students’ Success Perfectly Complements Admin’s Renewable Energy Initiatives
Newburgh Students Are Winners of 2012 Solar Vehicle Competition Against Contestants From Around the Globe; Newburgh Students’ Cars Outdistanced & Produced More Solar Energy Than Any Other Team
Schumer: Newburgh Students Are Bringing the Grand Prize Back to the Hudson Valley
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer asked President Obama to host a student group from the Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) at the White House, after the high school students recently won a global solar car competition in Texas. The Newburgh students have spent the previous year building four solar vehicles, which went up against high school and college groups from across the country and the world to become the 2012 Solar Prototype Champions for their cars that outdistanced and produced more solar energy than any other team. Schumer applauded the group for their outstanding work in renewable energy and engineering, which he believes deserves national recognition. Schumer is urging President Obama to host this dedicated group to Washington, especially given that the group’s success perfectly complements the Administration’s renewable energy initiatives.
“It is absolutely outstanding that these students at Newburgh Free Academy have dedicated their time to translate what they’ve learned in their classrooms into work that can address real-life issues in their local community and across the country,” said Schumer. “These impressive students have made the Hudson Valley and the entire state of New York proud, and I hope that President Obama will host these students that have so successfully commanded one of the Administrations initiatives of harnessing solar power. Knowledge in math and science are critical for our country’s future, and I congratulate these young minds for their impressive work and intelligence in these fields, and hope that President Obama will join me in doing so. I look forward to seeing what these Newburgh students do next!”
The Newburgh Free Academy student group, composed of 70 students total from middle school to high school, developed four vehicles for the Shell EcoMarathon in Houston, Texas: two solar vehicles and two battery electric vehicles. This group dedicated countless hours to this competition, and committed themselves to further their understanding in renewable energies and engineering and to designing a practical application of these fields in solar cars. Twenty-eight students went to Houston as support teams for the four cars competing, which went up against 100 top ranked colleges including Purdue, Louisiana Tech and MIT. After three days of competition that tested which car could travel the furthest with the least amount of energy, NFA became the 2012 Solar Prototype Champions as their car traveled 63.2 mi/kWh or 239 mpg. Schumer applauds the outstanding dedication of these students, that went above and beyond their in-classroom obligations over the past year.
Schumer is urging President Obama to help provide these young students from Newburgh the nation-wide recognition that they truly deserve. Schumer is asking President Obama to reach out to the Newburgh Free Academy Solar Racing Team and host them at the White House to congratulate a remarkable job and notable accomplishment. Furthermore, Schumer noted that NFA’s success perfectly complements the Obama Administration’s renewable and clean energy research and development initiatives, that search for an energy strategy of the future that develops every source of domestically-produced energy.
A copy of Schumer’s letter appears below:
Dear President Obama,
I write to you today to proudly inform you of the success of the Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) as the 2012 Solar Prototype Champions. This group of 28 high school students took two solar vehicles and two battery electric vehicles to the Shell EcoMarathon in Houston, Texas, to compete with other schools around the world. The NFA Solar Racing Team’s prototype cars outdistanced and produced more solar energy than any other team’s cars, making them the Solar Prototype Champions.
Students from the NFA Solar Racing team dedicated countless hours to this competition, creating, maintaining and producing cars which promoted energy efficiency. The motivation and dedication shown by these students is truly commendable. NFA participated in both the Solar Car Prototype and the Battery Electric Prototype with four cars this year and just last year won 3rd place for its Solar Prototype. The year-long dedication, perseverance and planning for the event paid off and they became Champions at the end of the three-day competitive event to test which car could go the farthest with the least amount of energy. NFA won with 63.2 mi/kWh or 239 mpg. And while the team, the city, the region and state should be proud of such an incredible achievement against some of the best minds in the country and the Americas, what is even more remarkable is the story behind the team.
Newburgh Free Academy is a high school which enrolls approximately 3,600 students on two campuses in Newburgh, New York. As you may know, the City of Newburgh has faced many obstacles in recent times. The team from one of the lowest income school districts in the state has continuously worked hard to build a program over the years and bring not one but 4 cars to compete against numerous well-funded high school and college programs. The NFA Solar Car Program receives little funding from its cash-strapped school district, but has worked hard to reach outside the school system to individual and corporate donors to show what a successful program can do to stay alive, thrive and win!
NFA stood strong and as a high school team competed neck and neck against 100 top ranked colleges including Purdue, Louisiana Tech, MIT.
While 28 students went to Houston as support teams for the 4 cars competing, the NFA Program is much broader and actually involves over 70 students in the school system – from middle school to high school. This program allows students from different neighborhoods, backgrounds and socio-economic standing to work together towards a common goal of winning the Solar Prototype Championship, furthering their understanding of renewable energies and engineering and designing a practical application of these diverse fields.
In fact, the program offers “a whole lot more” than racing and winning – it is about running a business and teaching skills for life. The NFA Program is an outstanding example of mentoring youth to help them learn the different aspects of a business, how to be a part of a business, take responsibility, set goals and work together as a team to reach those goals. The roadway to being champions requires a synergistic team of designers, welders, painters, mechanics, fundraisers, PR, accountants, donor and advertising solicitation, ad and program production/design, maintenance, race teams and yes, the drivers themselves – all functions performed by the students.
As the Senior Senator from the great State of New York, I am truly honored to represent such bright young students An accomplishment as great as this, truly deserves nation-wide recognition. I urge you to reach out to the Newburgh Free Academy Solar Racing Team and host them at the White House to congratulate a truly remarkable job and notable accomplishment.
I thank you in advance for honoring this group of intelligent and talented students.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer