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Students build Greenpower cars

James Clemens High School students built this Greenpower car. Other secondary students in Madison will build a similar model. CONTRIBUTED
James Clemens High School students built this Greenpower car. Other secondary students in Madison will build a similar model. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Madison students have entered another innovative, practical study with the Greenpower Car Initiative.

School leaders conducted a greenpower car unveiling on Nov. 17 at the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy at Discovery Middle School.

Greg Ennis’ engineering students from James Clemens High School demonstrated the Greenpower car that they have constructed. Sanmina-SCI awarded a grant for the James Clemens car, which already has competed in a Greenpower event in Huntsville.

Guests for the unveiling included corporate sponsors from Northrop Grumman Corporation and Siemens Corporation, GreenPower USA representatives, Bob Jones engineering teacher Jessye Gaines, Mike Evans with Huntsville City Schools and Discovery STEM Coordinator Julia West.

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,” West said.

“With generous support, both financially and in industry instruction, the program provides students and teachers with access to industry-leading technology. It’s beneficial to industry (because) it helps prepare their workforce for tomorrow,” West said.

This year, Madison students are building Formula 24 electric racecar kits. They will learn skills in electrical, mechanical, engineering, aerodynamics and marketing disciplines.

The cars can reach 20 mph. Students engineer the vehicles to run efficiently with good brake and suspension systems and lightweight yet sturdy.

Students construct the cars within strict parameters that require calculations, brainstorming and extensive collaboration among team members, along with driving and pit crew skills, public relations manager John Peck said.

Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said the hands-on program is a perfect example of applied learning “where theory meets practice.”

Liberty Middle School is waiting on delivery of its greenpower car kit.

“One goal is to have our elementary schools involved with goblin cars and then have middle schools build and race the F24 cars. High schools will build a custom car to race in Rockport, England,” West said.

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