June 18, 2014
On Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 Constellation Energy sponsored their second annual Electric Vehicle Race at Green Street Academy. Using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), eight student teams constructed their own solar charged electric car to compete on the rugged course. The Crossroads’ student team, under the leadership of Houston Manley, worked together to design a car that would run as efficiently as possible. They tested different motors, cut the frame from foam, constructed the body of the car out of paper mache, and adjusted the axles and wheels to create their car. They tested their design and made adjustments to get their car in the best racing shape. Three students from the Crossroads team – Taylor Hill, Brandon Dixon, and Grace Farrell – were chosen to be the pit crew for the event. Being Crossroads’ first year in the competition, the students just hoped that their car would compete and make them proud. They were going up against competitors that had competed last year and spent many weeks in their science classes preparing their vehicles. Crossroads students built the car as a part of the school’s Turning the Corner Achievement Program (TCAP). The Crossroads team was chosen to compete in the first round. In dramatic fashion, their competitor, the Predadon, took off to a good start and secured the lead. The Crossroads car sped up and was able to pass the Predadon right before the finish line! In the semifinal match, the Crossroads team was able to beat the Nightcrawler with a lead. The students were delighted that they made it to the final round. The final round was as dramatic as the first. Their competitor, GS Accelerator, got off to a fast start but malfunctioned and slowed to a stop. A student on that team ran to the car and pushed it over the finish line just ahead of the Crossroads car. All the participants shouted foul! The re-race started with the crowd of students cheering. The GS Accelerator got off to a good start again but lost speed as it headed toward the finish line. The Crossroads car was able to pull ahead to win the race! The event was such a great learning experience for all the students involved as they were able to apply their STEM knowledge to a real world situation – building a car. A Chevy Volt was brought to the event so that the students could see a real electric car. The Crossroads students had such a great time at the event and were delighted to come away with a win! They are looking forward to next year’s competition and hope that they can build a better, faster design.