If you have seen Greg Rice around Rochester, you probably looked twice. But that is the idea. He made a solar-powered go kart with a group of students at the Harley School, and now he is riding around showing it off.
"I've taken it downtown. I had it at the public market last week and I've had it around the neighborhood, driven it up and down Monroe Avenue; and it gets a lot of attention. People stop me and want to know what it is all about," he said.
It is a grassroots idea that could lead to bigger things in the future. Right now, he hopes to get the next generation thinking about alternative fuels.
"The kids normally want to drive it because it's fun. But then I challenge them to give me some information or have an academic kind of conversation," he said.
Rice is partnering up with others in the community and putting together a school program to give more kids the opportunity to build karts like his. Ram Schrivastava from Larsen Engineers is on board.
"This is not something you would go to Buffalo on the highway with. But it can raise the idea in the neighborhood that solar works. IT can help transportation needs and get the knowledge out there," he said.
Right now the go kart has to sit out in the sun to be fully charged. Once it is charged up, it can go 400 miles and it can go 18 miles an hour.
"Most kids, especially boys, are excited about driving their cars and it would be nice to be able to build one and get the idea how science matters," Rice said.
Rice knows that science matters and he hopes more young people will realize it too.
"I've always been interested in energy and power; and I realized that we have to do something. The future is changing and fossil fuels are limited so I though it was an excellent opportunity to learn about sustainable energy," he said.
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