Shadow Ridge High School engineering students honored for solar car
Shadow Ridge High School engineering students won top honors in the Racing the Sun solar-powered go-kart competition hosted on April 23 at Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson. Racing the Sun is an engineering program that challenges high school students to design, build, and race solar-powered go-karts.
The students were named Grand Champions in the Maker category for winning the contest and race with honors for Oral Presentation and Coach of the Year for Eric Bennett, Engineering and Physics Teacher at Shadow Ridge High School.
Working with teachers and mentors, students spend nine months preparing for race day. Along the way, they apply physics, engineering, and energy. They solve real-world problems, using mathematical, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students work in teams and collaborate on ideas. They are challenged to translate their ideas into a working prototype, and along the way, they build leadership skills. A total of ten schools competed in the competition this year.
The Solar Stallions team consisted of nine students: Tyler Winter, Kris Castro, Kevin Marquez, Isaac Kendall, Parker Sniezek, Jaden Saggar, Bradley Blue, Ryan San Andres, all of whom are seniors this year. The team prepared for the event the entire year by gathering the materials, planning the design, building and testing the go-kart powered entirely by energy produced by the sun.
“Mr. Bennett and his students should be exceptionally proud of themselves for winning this competition and I am extremely proud! The program has excelled from struggling to put together materials to having one of the best cars in the competition this year. These students definitely exude the spirit of being Stallion Strong,” shared Michael Hawkins, Shadow Ridge High School Principal.
The event was sponsored by the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). SARSEF focuses on engaging students through exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), in order to gain critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are important for whatever career they choose.