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Student-built cars race in GreenPower rally

Student-built electric cars zip around the track at the first annual Mad City Electric Vehicle Race at James Clemens High School. CONTRIBUTED
Student-built electric cars zip around the track at the first annual Mad City Electric Vehicle Race at James Clemens High School. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Madison can claim another first with the successful completion of Mad City Electric Vehicle Race.

James Clemens High School hosted the first annual GreenPower Race in April. Teams from James Clemens and Bob Jones high schools and Discovery and Liberty middle schools raced their cars.

 

 

The event was “part of Madison City’s GreenPowerUSA initiative featuring electric vehicles built, tested, modified and raced by teams in Madison City secondary schools,” John Peck said. Peck works as Manager of Public Relations for Madison City Schools.

“What an incredible learning experience for our students,” Peck said. During the race, the young mechanical engineers explained the cars’ construction, challenges and lessons learned in GreenPower.

Engineering teachers Jessye Gaines from Bob Jones and Greg Ennis from James Clemens and some of their students helped in promoting and organizing the race.

“The cars are designed and tuned to not only go fast but have endurance to run for 90 minutes on two 12-volt batteries,” Peck said. “Each of the eight teams was required to complete three driver changes during the race. A great event for all involved.”

Sanmina Corporation, Design World and Avion Solutions were among the race sponsors.

Also part of race day, food trucks served concessions to spectators, and dozens of vendors sold their merchandise. Flight simulators and STEM demonstrations were available for viewing.

In addition, Madison police officers showed their squad cars. The “Rise Above Kite Festival” also was held on James Clemens campus on April 2, along with an indoor yard sale.

In 2015, the GreenPower USA initiative in Madison started with Ennis’ engineering students demonstrating the GreenPower car that they had constructed. The unveiling was held at the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy at Discovery.

Sanmina-SCI awarded a grant for students to build the car at James Clemens.

GreenPower work will “advance education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology to young people by designing and building a single-seat, electric-powered racecar,” Discovery STEM Coordinator Julia West said at the unveiling.

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