An impressive display of solar energy smarts and skills helped high school students stand tall on the podium at Wisconsin Public Service’s (WPS) 28th annual Solar Olympics. Approximately 150 students from 12 high schools across northeast and north central Wisconsin took part in the competition on May 8 at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Students put their solar energy knowledge to the test in hopes of earning faster times, reaching higher scores and creating stronger designs in one of 12 events. Each event challenged students to use their science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) skills to create devices powered by the sun or items inspired by solar energy.

In true Olympic tradition, the top three finishers in each event received gold, silver and bronze medals.

Event winners
  • Solar Advertising Campaign: Valders High School
  • Solar Art Challenge: Northland Lutheran High School
  • Solar Building Design: Pembine High School
  • Solar Car Design: Valders High School
  • Solar Car Race: Marinette High School
  • Solar Cooker: Three Lakes High School
  • Solar Essay: Valders High School
  • Solar Jeopardy (individual winner): Cal Heiden, Wausau West High School
  • Solar Jeopardy (team winner): St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Solar Photography: Mishicot High School
  • Solar Sculpture: Pembine High School
  • Solar T-Shirt Design: Chilton High School
  • Solar Water Heater: Northland Lutheran High School

In the team competition, Valders High School took top honors, Pembine High School and Wausau West High School finished in a tie for second place, and Marinette High School finished in third place.

Solar Olympics supports student learning

Solar Olympics gives high school students a fun, hands-on opportunity to demonstrate their solar knowledge. This unique education event has grown from three participating schools in 1997 to a tradition that’s helped thousands of students learn more about an important source of clean energy.

WPS offers Solar Olympics to schools that participate in its SolarWise for Schools program. The program’s lessons and interactive projects help students learn about solar power and renewable energy. WPS also has helped 56 high schools install solar energy systems through the SolarWise for Schools program.

Committed to a cleaner future

WPS offers Solar Olympics and its SolarWise for Schools program as part of its commitment to a bright, sustainable future for the customers and communities it serves. The company delivers solar energy throughout the year from Wisconsin’s first large-scale solar parks. WPS also is increasing the solar energy it provides to its customers by acquiring portions of additional solar parks in development in Wisconsin.

Participating teams
  • Ashwaubenon High School
  • Chilton High School
  • Marathon High School
  • Marinette High School
  • Mishicot High School
  • Northland Lutheran High School
  • Pembine High School
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (Marinette)
  • Three Lakes High School
  • Valders High School
  • Wausau West High School
  • Wabeno High School