LANCASTER – Palmdale High School’s Solar Falcon Race Team on Tuesday won the 2015/2016 William J. “Pete” Knight Memorial AIRE (Achievement in Reducing Emissions) Award.
Presented annually by the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, the AIRE award is given to a local entity or individual that makes an outstanding contribution to the prevention or reduction of air pollution emissions within AVAQMD’s boundaries.
The Solar Falcon Race Team is a unique high school program that trains students to design, build and ultimately race a zero-emission solar-powered car in a national competition.
A branch of PHS’ FAST Academy of Engineering and Technology Program, the Solar Falcon Race Team was created in 2014 to teach students real-world application of physics, advanced mathematics, finance, CAD computer modeling, engineering and industry-level work ethics. Students work side by side with professional advisors to design and manufacture a solar-powered electric vehicle. The vehicle is entered into the National Solar Car Challenge Race, an annual competition designed to motivate high school students in science and engineering, as well as increase alternative energy awareness.
“It is quite fitting that we are presenting this year’s AIRE Award to this team of students – as young innovators like these are the future of our nation’s sustainability efforts,” stated AVAQMD Chairman Marvin Crist. “Their generation is inheriting the care and keeping of our planet, and it
is imperative that, from a young age, they understand the necessity of reducing our emissions and increasing our use of alternative energy.”
The AIRE award was accepted Tuesday by Antek Ignatowicz, Lead Advisor and Coordinator of PHS’s Solar Falcon Race Team and Engineering Program, during the air agency’s monthly governing board meeting in Lancaster.
The AIRE Award is presented each year in conjunction with National Pollution Prevention Week, which is observed during the third week of September.
In 2005, the AVAQMD’s Governing Board renamed the District’s highest honor after the late Senator William “Pete” Knight for his pivotal role in creating the AVAQMD as a separate, locally governed air agency.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District.]