Final STEP Entry 2011

The competition for the STEP program was today at the Friday Institute on the Centennial Campus of NC State University. Students finished their modifications late last night before the competition. Check-in time was at 8:30 am. Everything started off pretty good, students did well during the interview process and enjoyed themselves. The first race of the day was the endurance race. Using the solar panels students tried to connect the panels to the new car body. Below is a picture of the new car body before and after:

During the race students adjusted the body so the car would run, however after a few crashes the car was toast! As they say!

At first this was upsetting to everyone but we continued the day with positive attitude and prepared for the next race. The purpose of today was to show students the real life problems faced by scientists and others everyday. STEM was truly being taught today!

The second race we did better. Except for a slow start with some of our car parts we ended the race on good note! Of course we ended the race with out our spirited car body.

As the day wore on and the sun beat down on of solar panel (by the way the students named the panel “STEVE”. GO Figure) We had a maxium peak output of 28 volts which of course amazed us all. Students really did a good job on the panel and stand see the picture below:

The third race was another endurance test with our drained battery. During the first two races we charged a discharged battery for the third race. The battery was charged in 10 minutes with the solar panel. However, problems occurred with the parts of the car and we ended up not finishing race.

As we gathered at the end and teachers talked about the experience, we realized there were changes to be made. Students were making suggestions for next year and giving input about what we could do to improve our vehicle. Even though we did not win anything the students and teachers had a great time together. I think the students especially learned what it was like to work on a project from beginning to end.

We are hoping to compete again next year, in the mean time students have proposed a RC club for the school. This is definitely on the table and being discussed.

Thanks goes to Ms. Gamblin and Mechler for all their hard work in this project!!


About rippie77

Science Teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh NC.

Posted on May 21, 2011, in STEP: Sustainable Transportation Education Program. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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