Area high school students let their knowledge and innovative designs shine bright, earning well-deserved spots on the podium at Wisconsin Public Service’s (WPS) 26th annual Solar Olympics Wednesday, May 11, at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

This year’s Solar Olympics are the first to be held in person since 2019. Approximately 100 northeast and north central Wisconsin high school students used their science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) skills to create machines and plans that incorporate solar energy.

In true Olympic fashion, gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded this afternoon to the top three finishers in 13 different events.

Gold medal winners
  • Solar car race: West De Pere High School
  • Solar car design: Northland Lutheran High School
  • Solar cooker: Valders High School
  • Solar water heater: Valders High School
  • Photovoltaic (PV) innovation: Valders High School
  • Solar building design: Northland Lutheran High School
  • Solar essay: Valders High School
  • Solar advertising campaign: Marinette High School
  • Solar T-shirt design: St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Solar photography: Wausau West High School
  • Solar sculpture: Wabeno High School
  • Solar Jeopardy (top individual scorer): Ava Krueger, Marathon High School
  • Solar Jeopardy (top team score): Marinette High School
  • Solar art challenge: Wabeno and Wausau West High Schools

In the team competition, Valders High School took top honors, while Wausau West High School and Marinette High School finished second and third, respectively.

Solar Olympics supports student learning

Now in its 26th year, Solar Olympics gives high school students a fun, hands-on opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of an important source of clean energy. This unique educational event has grown from three schools in 1996 to include schools across northeast and north central Wisconsin.

WPS offers Solar Olympics to schools that also participate in its SolarWise for Schools program. The program’s lessons and interactive projects have helped thousands of students, as about 90% of the high schools in the WPS service area take part in SolarWise for Schools.

Participating teams
  • Lakeland Union High School
  • Marathon High School
  • Marinette High School
  • Northland Lutheran High School
  • Pembine High School
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
  • Tomahawk High School
  • Valders High School
  • Wabeno High School
  • Wausau West High School
  • West De Pere High School