STEM in Action – Electrathon Racing
What is Electrathon racing? An electrathon is a custom built three or four wheeled electric vehicle, somewhat similar in overall appearance to a go-kart, but powered by an electric motor and batteries. The basic format of the race is to determine which car can travel the furthest distance in one hour’s time without recharging its batteries. Students are actively exposed to a wide variety of subjects including physics, welding, aerodynamics, auto cad design, electronics, computer control of electric motors, propulsion systems, structural analysis, and skills directly related to technological business management.
On Saturday, September 24th, building on a nine-year history, Electrathon of Tampa Bay kicked off the 2016-2017 Electrathon and Junior Solar Sprint Race Season at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, Florida. Twelve cars participated, with seven cars representing three high schools for the High School Class (Middleton, Strawberry Crest, and Brandon), two cars/teams representing the College/Open class, and three cars/two teams rounding out the Experimental Battery class. For the first time in the history of electrathon racing in the Southeast United States, new regulations were implemented requiring team members (pit crew) to wear neon green safety vests when responding to a disabled car so drivers can see them on the course. In addition, flaggers wore neon orange vests to make them more easily visible to drivers.
The schedule consisted of two, hour-long races; one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. During the break between the first and second races, the Junior Solar Sprint Races were held. Mike Wilson (Technology teacher at McLane MS) and Don Haselwood (a parent volunteer) prepared the course; a number of teams competed and had lots of fun. The final race results included three young ladies from McLane:
1st - Kayla Pagan
2nd - Jacqueline Suarez
3rd - Jaylin Rasumoff
Way to go, ladies! #GirlsinSTEM
After the second electrathon race, and based on overall total laps, the top three team winners in each class were:
High School Class– 1st - Middleton#365, 2nd – Brandon #14, 3rd – Middleton #80.
Open/College Class – 1st - Tiger Racing #4, 2nd - University of Central Florida #823.
Experimental Battery – 1st - Electrocutioners #8, 2nd - Electrocutioners #72, 3rd -Pro EV #39
For more information about local electrathon racing, call (813) 748-7344 or visit http://electrathonoftampabay.org/www/.
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