Floyd Ingram | Buy at photos.chickasawjournal.com Dream Big, featuring Sundancer, debuted at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga last week with members of the Houston Solar Car team in attendance. Members are Kailey Stevens, from left, Malik Lawrence, James Ingram, Micah Simmons and Greg Hollingsworth.
By Floyd Ingram
HOUSTON Sundancer was featured in a documentary film that debuted last week at cinemas around the country, and part of that rollout saw it put on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Houston Solar Car team members also headed out to Washington, Chattanooga, Birmingham and Huntsville Alabama, for the premier of Dream Big, a film aimed at growing the next generation of engineers to serve both the United States and the world.
I was inspired by a fifth grade science teacher in a day and age when girls were not encouraged to go into engineering, said Mary Beth Hudson, site manager of Wacker Polysilicon in Charleston, Tennessee. Engineers will solve the problems we face in the future. I think it is obvious to us all, we need more engineers.
Hudson spoke before the premier of Dream Big at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga last Friday. Hudson, who runs the $2.5 billion plant that makes a key material used in solar cells, said her passion is getting kids excited about careers in engineering.
I am so impressed with what your solar car team has done, Hudson said. The next generation of engineers are all around us. We need to spot them, educate them and put them in companies that are working on solutions to solve the worlds problems.
The Houston Solar Car team was featured for about six minutes in the 45-minute documentary. The segment told of a small high school in Mississippi that fielded a solar car that went to Australia in 2015 and raced the most miles under solar power in the 2,000 mile World Solar Car Challenge across the Australian Outback.
Sundancer finished the race with 2,795 solar car kilometers, or 1,736 miles, racing all but 227 kilometers of the 3,022 kilometer race from Darwin to Adelaide.
The film premiered in giant-screen theaters during Engineers Week, Feb. 17-25, around the country.
Sundancer, right, and the University of Michigan solar car were on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. (Courtesy)
Houston Career and Technology Education Center solar car sponsor and chaperons carried students Hunter Moore and Andrew Mitchell along with Sundancer to Washington for the premier there.
Narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, Dream Big: Engineering Our World is a first of its kind film for IMAX and giant screen theaters that seeks to transform how we think about engineering.
The film urges teachers, schools and companies to answer the call of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiative which offers a fresh perspective on engineering and aims to inspire kids of diverse backgrounds to become the innovators, educators and leaders who will improve the lives of people across our entire planet throughout the 21st Century.
STEM was implemented in the Houston School District last year.
For more information about Dream Big, go to http://www.dreambigfilm.com. Click the sneak peak trailer to view a 2-minute video. Click the icon marked Press to see photos of the Houston Solar Car team in Australia.
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Houston Solar Car featured in IMAX film, Smithsonian – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal