Dell's National Solar Car Race Begins Today

More than 180 high school students from around the nation and Mexico today embark on a 1,600-mile race in hand-built, solar-powered cars.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — More than 180 high school students from around the nation and Mexico today embark on a 1,600-mile race in hand-built, solar-powered cars.

The 10th annual Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge, which begins at Dell's headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, will wind its way through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, en route to the finish line at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Nine teams have been preparing for the competition for more than a year, applying the skills they've learned in the classroom and gaining new ones along the race course. Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) is the national sponsor of the educational program.

"This program promotes 21st Century skills such as science, math, technology and teamwork," said Scott Campbell, vice president of Dell's K-12 business. "It shows students the relevance of their classroom learning to real-world projects, and it gives them a huge sense of accomplishment."

The racers will use Dell notebooks and wireless technology to gauge solar car battery usage, monitor weather patterns, track competitors via global positioning systems and upload daily statistics to In addition, the race judges will use the notebooks to track the teams as they travel the course.

"Virtually every area of life today involves some sort of technology," said Dr. Lehman Marks, founder and director of the event and program director of the Winston Science Academy. "In addition to harnessing technology to complete a challenging project, participants in this solar car challenge will develop confidence and communication skills."

The student participants are from New York, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, California, Indiana and Mexico.

Each year, the Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge alternates between the Texas Motor Speedway and a cross-country route. The Winston School uses a combination of distance learning and a multi-city tour to educate teachers and students about the race, including how to plan, design and build their own solar cars.

About The Winston School: Based in Dallas, The Winston School is focused on realizing the potential of bright children who learn differently through individualized learning. In 1993, The Winston School launched an education program to provide curriculum, materials, on-site visits and workshop opportunities for high schools across the country. The program has taught more than 8,500 students in 22 countries about the wonders of science and demonstrated that high school students can build and race solar cars.

About Dell: Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is an information-technology supplier, and sells a comprehensive portfolio of products and services, including direct sales of computer equipment to customers worldwide. Company revenue for the past four quarters was $51.1 billion. For more information, visit

Source: Business Wire, Dell Inc.