The Establishment of a High School Electric Car Competition. Another technology focused lesson began a movement throughout the state of Alabama. Three years ago SKY had a vision of starting an Electrathon (Electric Car) competition in Alabama. By partnering with Cawaco RC&D we were provided a $10,000 grant to purchase four Electrathon kit cars. These kit cars and distributed to schools in central Alabama. The purpose for these kits and this competition was to provide students with exciting lessons that exposed them to both technology education and green energy. Students had to research alternative energy, aerodynamics, friction/resistance, and energy efficiency in order to build the most fuel-efficient car possible. We partnered with Alabama Power and Zoom Motorsports who sponsored and hosted a competition at Barbers Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama. A total of four teams competed in its inaugural year.
Cawaco provided an additional $10,000 grant, thus allowing the purchase and distribution of three more kit cars to schools in central Alabama. The 2013 race grew from four cars to fourteen cars, which attracted teams from as far away as Florida. This year we have received another grant from the Alabama RC&D for $35,000. This allows us to expand the project by distributing ten kit cars to ten more schools across the state. The State RC&D and legislators goal is to further expand this program during 2015 by providing a grant that will purchase seventy-five to one hundred more kit cars to be distributed to schools throughout the state. Their vision is to include every school district in the state in this technology education competition within the next few years.
Not only does this spread Technical/Environmental Education throughout the state, but also spurs state economic development. We envision this project will spread throughout our state, thus automotive manufactures will recognize a skilled knowledgeable workforce trained in our public high schools. We believe these manufactures will desire to locate their new hybrid manufacturing facilities here in Alabama. This will essentially put more technologically advanced graduates to work.
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