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Young 'Engineers' Tackle Solar Power Project

BLOOMINGTON - You've probably seen electric cars on the streets or on the TV screens, but student groups at campuses like ISU'S are turning their attention to another type of energy: solar.
BLOOMINGTON - You've probably seen electric cars on the streets or on the TV screens, but student groups at campuses like ISU'S are turning their attention to another type of energy: solar.

The world of engineering came alive inside the Bloomington Public Library.

"I take radios apart and stuff and see how they work. So, I really enjoy doing that," said Jonathan Nagle, a sixth grader.

Students in grade school and middle school are learning from an innovative group of college students at Illinois State University about how to harness the power of the sun to power a vehicle.

"That big of a thing can actually move by the sun. It's the future now," said fourth grader Adam Dillow.
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The kids are just doing it on a miniature scale, with supervision from library staff and the ISU students.

As the students are cutting and fastening their projects together, they're prepping their cars for the race track.

"Great life skills work," said Matt Noehre, a senior at ISU. "Just basic tool work and, but also electronic work is what you're doing here, even with these kits. Doing something different, something fun, that they've never done before."
Thanks to a state grant that encourages science the library is putting on programs like these more often now. And in a couple of weeks, these young science enthusiasts will see just how fast their cars can go.

"They're really simple vehicles. It's basically four wheels on a platform. The wheels have gear teeth on them and then there's a little gear that goes on the engine and that powers the wheels," said Justin Lomelino, an IT worker at the library.

And as they're painting, they're taking a peek into what many hope can become a hobby, and maybe even something more.

"I think it's really good for them to learn about solar energy because it's up and coming. It's something that'll hopefully be part of their lives in the future," said Sarah Noll, a second year grad student at ISU.

ISU has taken their race car to different competitions across the country. They build the cars from the ground up before racing them.

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