HCS Students Claim Victory on World Famous Indianapolis Track
Students representing twenty-eight teams from Huntsville, England, and across the U.S. got to experience racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a part of a Greenpower Electric Car Challenge held Monday at the track. Four teams from Huntsville City Schools placed in the top ten in the competition, with Challenger Middle in 2nd place and Whitesburg P-8 at 3rd for the Jr. High category. Grissom High came in 3rd, and the district’s “Rocket City Racing” team claimed the top spot by placing 1st with its car, “Excalibur.” The Excalibur posted a top speed of 30 mph, and was the fastest car out of the entire field of participants. The event was made possible through the efforts of Greenpower USA, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Siemens, and the Sports Car Club of America.
Drew Sparks, the Greenpower Lead Teacher for Huntsville City Schools, calls this is an incredible learning opportunity for the students. He says that, despite all the hard work, the kids are asking when they can come back and race again. Chandler Jones, an eighth-grade student at Challenger Middle, said this is an awesome experience to have with his classmates, because not many people can say they have raced at Indy.
Greenpower is a STEM based initiative that engages students by using these skills to design, build, and race an electric car. Each team is given a strict set of guidelines and are required to use the same standard motor and batteries in the vehicle. Greenpower USA is based in Huntsville, started in 2014 to expand STEM related education to students, and now has programs in nine states. Huntsville City Schools currently has 26 schools that have Greenpower programs, with race tracks at Jemison, Whitesburg, and will soon have a third track available this Fall at the new Grissom campus. The Greenpower Initiative began in the United Kingdom in 1999, and now has programs in not only the U.S., but South Africa, China, and Poland.