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While contestants were busy racing through the bays of Paraty, the children of the town were taking part in our Sun and Sea Festival, a science and culture fair full of interactive activities.

The festival was organized by the recently created Museu do Mar (Museum of the Sea) of UFRJ especially to coincide with the Desafio Solar. The aim was  to bring educative and fun activities about alternative energy, recycling and naval engineering to children from the whole Paraty region.

Solar oven workshop

Solar oven workshop

The kids were fetched at their schools by UFRJ buses every day and left to enjoy  the activities of the Festival on the main square of Paraty all day. Boat construction, solar oven workshop, construction of puppets with recycled material, dance, art, animation… and the sustainable house. Twenty workshops in total all given by students and professors from UFRJ. This was a great opportunity for both university students and school children to learn and have fun learning.

The sustainable house - made out of recycled plastic and powered by solar panels, the house also has a simple rainwater filtering system.

The sustainable house - made out of recycled plastic and powered by solar panels, the house also has a simple rainwater filtering system.

The Museum of the Sea aims to organize this kind of events at least three times a year in three different cities around Rio.

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The Paraty canal during the race

The Paraty canal during the race

Paraty turned out to be the ideal setting for the race. The pictures of our slenders boats sliding on deep-bue waters with mountains covered in jungle in the backdrop were so beautiful that even the bbc news website decided to post one, on the main page of its science and technology section!

The boats in Paraty-Mirim bay.

The boats in Paraty-Mirim bay.

Paraty bay

Paraty bay

See more pictures of the race by accessing our gallery here.

The first Desafio Solar Brasil took place in Paraty, 18th-24th October 2009

By Juliette Savin, Desafio Solar Brasil team

The decision to go to The Netherlands to take part in the Frisian Solar Challenge was a hasty one. We didn’t really think, we just accepted the challenge, built our boat, and went. Who, then, was to think that a year later we’d be organizing our very own solar boat race, the first Desafio Solar Brasil, and that it’d be a success?

Read the rest of this entry »

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