Eugene students design and race electric cars in EWEB competition


The foyer of Roosevelt Middle School was turned into a raceway Tuesday, but the roar of gasoline engines and the smell of burning rubber was replaced by the whirl of electrical motors and the odor of craft glue guns.

Welcome to the EWEB Electrical Automobile Style and Race Opposition. 

It started in 1997 when the Eugene H2o & Electrical Board challenged nearby center university students to combine science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) to layout, construct and race miniature solar-driven autos.

Teacher Tana Shepard oversees the undertaking for Eugene University District in cooperation with EWEB. The challenge has been funded by a nearly 30-calendar year grant. 

Soon after a two-12 months split due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has rebranded to include miniature electric-run vehicles. 

Doing the job in groups, hundreds of eighth graders at educational institutions across the district expend a month learning about alternative strength sources as section of their science curriculum.

The students are supplied an array of elements, including alternatives of chassis, motors and gears, and are encouraged to use their creative imagination to create a race vehicle.

Electric toy cars race on a track in the foyer of Roosevelt Middle School Tuesday.

Tuesday the college students put their creations to the examination in head-to-head races on a training course setup in the lobby at Roosevelt. 

With science instructor Chad Heidtke in the job of race director, starter, timer and announcer, dozens of college students raced their autos versus every other on a 4-lane course made from lengths of plastic pipe.

“Me and my companion experienced a blast,” mentioned Caroline Combs, 13. 

“We experienced hassle earning our auto go straight, but we finished up with the quickest time in the class. I did not assume that,” she claimed with a chuckle.

“Dilemma fixing is a large portion of it, as perfectly as utilizing important pondering capabilities and teamwork,” Shepard said. “The arms-on aspect of the application is extremely important.”

Ella Killingsworth who with teammate Oliver Winner raced a car or truck named Fruity Pebbles in honor of Satisfaction Month agrees. 

“It was awesome to in fact understand points by performing them,” Killingsworth reported. “Before this, I did not know how to solder. Now, I do.”

Electric race car Fruity Pebbles, created by Ella Killingsworth and Oliver Champion, sits on a work bench before the race.

Get in touch with photographer Chris Pietsch at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @ChrisPietsch and Instagram @chrispietsch. Want much more stories like this? Subscribe to get unrestricted entry and aid regional journalism.





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