Press Releases

TransOptions Hosts 11th Junior Solar Sprints Competition: Division 4 Race Results

TransOptions is proud to announce the Division 4 winners of the eleventh annual Junior Solar Sprints Competition (JSS) held on May 14, 2012, at the New Providence High School.

JSS is an Environmental Education program hosted by the non-profit Transportation Management Association at no cost to middle school students, teachers and schools in TransOptions’ northwest New Jersey service area.  TransOptions is grateful to First Energy for being the primary sponsor of this year’s Competition and to PSE&G, the New Jersey Herald and East Coast Alternative Energy for their support. 

“Hosting the Junior Solar Sprints Competition demonstrates TransOptions commitment to the helping future generations learn about an alternative fuel, conserving resources and helping the environment,” comments John F. Ciaffone, TransOptions President.  “We are proud to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education with content that aligns to New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards and  gratified by the ongoing success of this enrichment program,” he adds.

Race day is the culmination of months of preparation by over 3,500 students from 52 middle schools participating this year.  The teams started on a level playing field; each receiving basic components including a solar panel, a motor, wheels and axles along with rules for the Competition.  Next came weeks of applying creativity, teamwork and science skills to design and build their unique model racing cars.  During the process, the students witnesses alternative energy first-hand as they harnessed solar energy to power their racing cars down the 66 foot long track.

Entries are judged in the categories of Speed, Engineering, Craftsmanship and Best Use of Recycled Materials.  Each team is also required to submit a Documentation Portfolio providing a record of their concept, design, development and comments.  A panel of volunteer judges, drawn from local businesses and communities, contribute their time and scientific expertise to evaluate student entries. 

Immediately following the competition, awards were presented to each student on the winning teams. 

The winners are:


1st Place – “Ying Yang” – Allen W. Roberts School – Nikko Pangasnan, Ben Homa, Sean Yu and Jonathan Hua

2nd Place  - “The Patriot” – Ringwood Christian School – Alyssa Breur, Gabrielle Guerro and Brittany La Tour

3rd Place – “Two and a ½ men” – Mt. Pleasant Middle School – Ethan Morris, Kyle Ume and Zach Minion


1st  Place – “Shannanaganz” – New Providence Middle School – Steven Shan, Malay Nanavaty, Elizabeth Mohan and Emily Eng

2nd Place – “O.J. Rider” – Lincoln Park Middle School – Carly McDaniel and Noor Tahir

3rd Place – “Green Bean” – Ringwood Christian School – Mikey Ligus and Danny White


1st Place  - “Green Bean” – Ringwood Christian School – Mikey Ligus and Danny White

2nd Place – “X” – Lincoln Park Middle School – Xavier Salazar and Austin Vanzant

3rd Place - “Two and a ½ men” – Mt. Pleasant Middle School - – Ethan Morris, Kyle Ume and Zach Minion

Best Use of Recycled Materials

1st Place - “X” – Lincoln Park Middle School -  Xavier Salazar and Austin Vanzant

2nd Place – “Dave” – Valley View Middle School – Riley Grawehr, Sarah Backes, Jared Sorce and Nistha Patel

3rd Place - “Green Bean” – Ringwood Christian School – Mikey Ligus and Danny White

Documentation Portfolio (does not move on to the Inter-County Final)

1st Place – “Scat” – Lopatcong Middle School – Sia Gabrillis, Casey Hawk, Tommy Mandry and Alex Stasiulatis

2nd Place – “Turbo Turtle” – The Willow School – Audrey Collins, Alexander Fradkin, Megan Traudt and Oliver Finlay

3rd Place – “Unnamed Team” – Mt. Pleasant Middle School – Brett Fawer, Rachel Azulay, Daniela Tsymbal and Sabrina Rom


Students’ Choice (does not move on to the Inter-County Final)

1st Place – “Duckalicious Ducks” – Mt. Pleasant Middle School – Eileen Deng, Shannon Altman and Beth Goldberg

2nd Place – “Ice Cream Time” – Allen W. Roberts School – Danielle Nisberg, Sarah Bottazzi and Sydney Cahill

3rd Place – “Nerd Herd” – Rockaway Valley School – Alaina Rose, Nicole Osherov, Carleigh DeMarco and Mia Fernandez

Additional Speed teams moving on:

“One Direction” – Lincoln Park Middle School

“Nerd Herd” – Rockaway Valley School

“Race Car” – Lopatcong Middle School

“Apollo Rover” – New Providence Middle School

Teams winning in Speed, Craftsmanship, Engineering and Best Use of Recycled Materials advance to the Inter-County Final competition which will be held at Central Park of Morris County on May 29, 2012, with a rain date of May 31, 2012.

For more information on the program and how to participate in JSS next year, contact Cindy Reuther at (973) 267-7600, or send her an email here.