Engineering students win solar car race
Shadow Ridge High School engineering students won top honors in the Racing the Sun solar-powered go-kart competition hosted on April 29 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 Overall Grand Champions for all categories, winning the contest for the second year in a row. Additionally, they received Fastest Lap with an average speed of 19.3mph, Most Laps with 6, and the Maker Division Championship.
Working with teachers and mentors, students spend nine months preparing for race day. Along the way, they apply physics, engineering, and energy concepts. 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.
The Solar Stallions team consisted of seven students: Mea Buffa, Jacob Hilton, Landon Holm, Colton Meyers, Alden Kowalewsky, Von Caparas, and Andrew Retzlaff. They competed against 13 Arizona high schools.
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.
“We had a great team this year that worked extremely hard. They made a kart that was lean and fast. It was very rewarding to see them accomplish their goals,” shared Shadow Ridge coach and Engineering teacher, Eric Bennett.
Engineering is one of the many Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the district that prepares students to enter the workforce with the academic and vocational skills needed to compete successfully in the job market
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.