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Jets, Patriots race in Indianapolis

MADISON – Teams from both James Clemens and Bob Jones high schools experienced the high-test thrills of the GreenPower Electric Car Challenge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This year marked the first time that Madison teams have built, fine-tuned to meet strict requirements and raced their electric cars in the challenge, which is a project-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning initiative. Endorsing broad levels of education, the challenge leverages the excitement of motorsport to enhance teaching and learning of STEM-based subject matter and learning objectives.

Siemens, Sport Car Club of America and GreenPowerUSA Foundation helped to sponsor the race in Indianapolis, the “Racing Capital of the World,” this spring.

Participating teams were invited to race a single-seat, student-driven electric car on the world-famous Grand Prix road circuit at the speedway. GreenPower races consist of two 90-minute heats with the winning team posting the greatest distance in that time.

Eight teams from Huntsville City Schools also participated, GreenPowerUSA Foundation President Jacob Boyett said.

Jessye G. Gaines sponsors Patriot Racing. She serves as Engineering Academy Director and also sponsors National Technical Honor Society and Society of Women Engineers at Bob Jones. Gaines described the Indianapolis venture as “an amazing experience.”

“The Jets Racing Team got second place out of about 20 teams in our class,” James Clemens race sponsor Greg Ennis said. “We won third overall out of 27 teams at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was an awesome day to be a Jet.”

James Clemens team members were Abigail Celuch, Ryan Dunn, Drew Hicks, Matthew Joens, Jake Strickland, J.D. Strickland, Nick Thompson and Blake Tweedie.

“Over 25 teams from across the United States and one International team from England registered to race,” Boyett said. “All participating student teams had the incredible opportunity to challenge themselves and compete on the iconic Indy Grand Prix track.”

“Young people are the future of motorsports and high-tech industries, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway remains committed to programs that link both through the power of racing,” speedway president J. Douglas Boles said.

The Patriots’ and Jets’ experience will promote leadership, teamwork skills and understanding of critical-thinking; industry-relevant knowledge; and multi-disciplinary technical savvy.

For more information, visit GreenPowerusa.net.

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