posted on Nov. 21: McMaster solar car heats up Santa Claus parade


[img_inline align=”right” src=””]The McMaster Solar Car Project team helped spread holiday cheer, along with awareness of renewable energy resources, at the Hamilton Santa Claus parade last weekend.

Downtown sections of Main and King Streets were temporarily shut down on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 17) to make way for thousands of children and onlookers and more than 100 floats.

Among the horses and buggies, marching bands and vintage cars, the solar car, Fireball, stood out as a symbol of McMaster innovation as it participated in the two-kilometre parade route.

The McMaster Solar Car Project is a team of 25 McMaster students from various Faculties who share one vision: to represent the high calibre of McMaster engineering and the project's sponsors through the design and construction of highly-competitve vehicles powered entirely by the sun.

The Santa Claus parade marked the first public showing of the Fireball since its entry in the American Solar Challenge in July 2001. This solar vehicle event pitted 30 of the top North American technical institutions against each other in a 10-day trek from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Although the McMaster team was forced to withdraw from the race after the Fireball sustained damage, the team gained invaluable experience which is being applied to the design of Fireball II.

Participating in the Santa Claus parade was the first step in the McMaster Solar Car Project's plan to ensure that Fireball II is a force to be reckoned with in the American Solar Challenge 2003.

The team aims to raise $200,000 towards the design and construction effort and at the same time promote renewable resources to the community.

If you would like to become a sponsor of the McMaster Solar Car Project, please contact, call ext. 27388 or log on to

Solar car parade team: Back row, L-R: Huang Sui, Evan Dietz, Liane Erikson, Owen Somerville, Sargon Haddad, Claire Braden. Front Row, L-R: Thomas Ip (driver), Jeff Winter, Josh Wong, Ruger
Johnsen, Dave Puhakka, Andrew Maw, Jennifer Preston, Gwendolyn Preston.

Photo by Peter Jonasson