Solar Car team honored by state

Houston's solar car team was presented to the Mississippi Senate Thursday and received a standing ovation. Shown at the Capitol in Jackson are Dr. Steve Coker, front row from left, Beverly James, Anita Ellison, Kristen Marsh, Andi Houser, Kristen Black, Patricia Ellison, Donna Turman and Representative Preston Sullivan. Back row from left are, Zack Mixon, Logan Vanlandingham, Daniel Worthey, Jasper Harmon, Trey Franklin and Senator Russell Jolly. (Courtesy Photo)

Houston’s solar car team was presented to the Mississippi Senate Thursday and received a standing ovation. Shown at the Capitol in Jackson are Dr. Steve Coker, front row from left, Beverly James, Anita Ellison, Kristen Marsh, Andi Houser, Kristen Black, Patricia Ellison, Donna Turman and Representative Preston Sullivan. Back row from left are, Zack Mixon, Logan Vanlandingham, Daniel Worthey, Jasper Harmon, Trey Franklin and Senator Russell Jolly. (Courtesy Photo)

HOUSTON – They are undefeated over the past 11-years in a high-tech field filled with teams that are better funded and come from much larger communities.

The Houston Solar Car team was presented to the Mississippi Senate Thursday and after a brief presentation explaining their vehicle and their accomplishments was given a standing ovation by the chamber.

“It was really neat to stand in front of all those important people and see them stand and clap for us,” said Kristen Black, a junior at Houston High School and second-year member of the Houston Girls Solar Car Team. “Those are some very important people. It was the best part of the day.”

Both the boys and girls solar car team took part in day-long activities that also saw them introduced in the Mississippi House, get a tour of the Capitol building and roll their car out on the Capitol lawn.

“Dr. (Steve) Coker told the Senate that this was cutting edge technology and education at its finest,” said Black. “It’s neat to think what we are doing at Houston High School is not only good for our school but good for the state.”

Black pointed out the Houston Solar Car team has repeatedly won solar car races in Texas against teams across the nation. She also said the Houston Solar Car Team has brought recognition to Houston, the state and country by competing at the international level in Australia.

The Houston Solar Car Team is currently seeking funds to once again travel to Australia and race against solar-powered cars from around the world.

Sophomore Jasper Harmon, a first-year member of the Houston Boys Solar Car Team said this was his first trip to the capitol.

“During our tour we got to watch them pass a bill and we got to go in several of the offices and rooms where they discuss and make laws,” said Harmon. “The building, the stairs and floors and tall ceilings were impressive and everyone was nice to us and wanted to know about the car.”

Both Harmon and Black said they want to go to Texas this summer and win races for the 12th time.

“Thursday’s trip for special to me,” said Harmon. “I learned a lot and want to go back to the capitol next year.”

Thursday’s tour of the capitol was arranged by Chickasaw County Senator Russell Jolly and Chickasaw County Representative Preston Sullivan.

Members of the Houston Solar Car Team traveling to Jackson were: Kristen Black, Trey Franklin, Jasper Harmon, Andi Houser, Kristen Marsh, Zack Mixon, Logan Vanlandingham, and Daniel Worthey.

The team was chaperoned by Beverly James, Anita Ellison, Patricia Ellison, Donna Turman and Houston Superintendent Dr. Steve Coker.

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