News Release

May 2, 2017
Students to compete for top spot in PNM Solar Car Races at Explora

Albuquerque:  Hundreds of Native American students will put their design and engineering skills to the test as part of the 23rd Annual PNM Solar Car Races this Friday, May 5, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Explora.

Students from around New Mexico worked for weeks with PNM engineers to design, build, and test solar-powered model cars. More than 200 fifth-grade students built 70 solar cars with the top 21 power-packed cars making it to the race finals. The top three cars from each school earned the chance to race in the finals at Explora.

Come see these hardworking students showcase their creativity and speed, as they vie for the top spot in the big race at Explora, 1701 Mountain Rd. NW in Albuquerque's Old Town, starting at 11:15 a.m. The race is open to the public with regular Explora admission.

"PNM started this program in 1994 with the primary purpose of teaching science, technology, engineering, and math in a hands-on, engaging way," said Aubrey Johnson, vice president, PNM Operations. "Over the past 23 years we've seen just how important it is for students to be exposed to these types of lessons to spark their interest in STEM fields."

Explora supports these educational efforts by providing a sunny venue for the race and an amazing outing for the students. The stunning views and flat surface of Explora's upper west deck will set the scene for the championship races.

Participating schools this year are Cochiti Middle School, San Felipe Elementary School, Santa Ana Pueblo After School Program, Santo Domingo Elementary School, Tesuque Day School, Pueblo of Isleta Elementary School, and Eva B. Stokely Elementary School (in Shiprock, NM).

The race will be tweeted live on race day, via the PNM Twitter account @PNMtalk, using #PNMSolar. Those who don't use Twitter can follow the race at

WHAT:  2017 PNM Solar Car Race

WHEN:  Friday, May 5, 2017
               11:15 a.m. Opening remarks
               11:30 a.m. Single-elimination racing begins (will last about one hour)
               12:45 p.m. Awards

WHERE:  Explora
                  1701 Mountain Rd. NW
                  Albuquerque, NM 87104

About Explora 

Explora is located at 1701 Mountain Road, NW in Old Town and welcomes visitors of all ages to explore more than 250 interactive hands-on exhibits in science, technology and art. For information about Explora call (505)224-8300 or go to

With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit