All of our events rely on the time and dedication of volunteers. Volunteering is a great way for spectators to get involved with the sport as well as a way for current team members to give back after graduation. Some of our volunteer opportunities are listed below. If one of these areas interest you or you have other ideas on how you would like to contribute to these events, please contact us.
Observers get the unique experience to travel with the solar car teams, writing down what happens during the American Solar Challenge and proving this information to Race Officials at checkpoints along the route. This is a critical role to provide fairness to the event and document any actions that may result in a penalty or should be considered for our teamwork, sportsmanship, or safety awards. As an Observer, you would ride in the chase vehicle which follows the solar car during the day, impound their batteries in the evening, and stay with the team overnight. Upon arrival at a stage/checkpoint, you would be swapped with an Observer for another team, thus having the opportunity to ride with several teams during the week. Observers are given orange event t-shirts to wear and provided with a route book and training for their role the day before the event begins. Teams are responsible for treating the Observer as a member of their team, providing meals, snacks, and lodging accommodations, which may include camping.
Hosts welcome teams to their location and invite the public and media to a one-of-a-kind public relations opportunity. At a minimum, hosts of the stage/checkpoints along the American Solar Challenge provide access to parking lots and restrooms for the teams. Many hosts choose to go beyond this by having community events in conjunction with the rare opportunity to have solar cars on display at their location. Previous hosts have held energy fairs, stadium tours, people’s choice awards, team meals, and hospitality lounges with giveaways. Depending on your location and the route, we have both checkpoints and stage points. Checkpoints operate for a single day, usually for 4-6 hours. Stage points are checkpoints which include an overnight stop and a re-start the following morning.
Corner Workers get to experience the action of the track race up close. These volunteers are assigned a spot along the track and provided radio communication with race control to report flat tires and other problems as they arise. Corner Workers use racing flags to warn other solar car drivers of the issues on the track. When there are no issues, Corner Workers are free to take pictures and enjoy the race day.
If you have skills with a camera, video camera, and editing software, this may be the right fit for you. Photographers/Videographers provide coverage of the event during inspections, at the track, and on the road. Content is updated daily on the website and provided to media inquiries. (Portfolio required upon request.)
EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)
EMTs travel along with the roaming inspectors during the cross-country American Solar Challenge event to assist teams and staff in the event of a medical emergency. (Credentials required.)
Commonly referred to as the staff, race officials are those volunteers who help with the operations of the event, usually on a year-round basis. Activities may include reviewing vehicle design reports, performing route drives, working out event logistics, and collecting paperwork from the teams. At the events, these people perform inspections, handle timing, and serve as the coordinators for all parts of the event. The vast majority of the staff is made up of former competitors who desire to see these events continue for the next generation.