Thursday, July 5, 2012

Solar Car Team Takes the Challenge

Students from the Ben Barber Career Tech Academy are voluntarily working through their summer vacation to compete in the Solar Car Challenge which will be held later this month at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Thanks to team advisors Jackie Bishop (auto tech teacher) and Rob Goodson (engineering teacher) along with a lot of help from generous sponsors, the students are building the District's first solar car for competition while learning some valuable skills. Approximately 25 students have been busy working on weekdays and a few Saturdays here and there in the BBCTA automotive garage to finish the solar car in time for the race week, July 15-19. The solar car team is primarily for engineering and auto tech students, but anyone can help according to advisor, Jackie Bishop.

While the car will sport large solar panels on its top for power, it has some some simple automotive roots. The chassis is from an old Legends Car that was donated. It has a four-wheeler front-end suspension and a motorcycle rear-suspension. In order to make this solar car and race a reality, students had to learn a lot about solar power, electronics, steel, construction, welding, and even amateur radio skills (and licenses) for track communication.

Check out the MISD Minutes video feature on the Solar Car Challenge (YouTube or MISD Video Portal).