Non-profit green|spaces will hold for the second year, a youth-based race car competition, the Chattanooga Green Prix, on May 10 and 11 at Chattanooga State Community College. A total of 34 teams from 32 local public and private elementary, middle and high schools will compete for the first place prize - free travel and entry into any GreenPower USA race competition of their choice, plus a trophy.
The competition has grown almost four times as large as its inaugural year in the 2017/2018 school year, expanding from eight teams to 34 teams participating. More than $150,000 was raised to purchase the car kits, race equipment and provide a stipend for teachers to administer the programs for local schools to advance STEM learning through this electric car building and race competition.
The Chattanooga Green Prix is supported by sponsors including: The Lyndhurst Foundation, The Fullgraf Foundation, EPB, TVA, Chattanooga Breakfast Rotary Club, Greater Chattanooga Robotics, Raceciever, UnFoundation, Krystals Foundation, Terracon Foundation, the Chattanooga Area Sports Car Club of America and Chattanooga State Community College.
“As major car makers continue to release a high-performance line-up of electric vehicles over the next few years, the Green Prix is an opportunity to familiarize students with how electric and hybrid vehicles can reduce your fuel costs and carbon emissions while making America less dependent on imported fossil fuels,” said J.Ed. Marston, EPB’s vice-president of marketing.
Business sponsors allow for schools to participate. There are still schools on the waiting list to participate. Sponsorships are available from $1,000 and up and are still available. The more sponsors secured, the more schools are able to participate.
“Several of our school's vocational classes have 'looked over our shoulder' as we have tackled certain steps in the assembly procedure. Obviously, the teamwork being displayed has created an exceptional learning environment for our students," said instructor Steve Thompkins with Sequoyah High School. "The students seem to totally understand our team's goals. The excitement that the electric car program has created has been amazing. I have noticed that many students are eager to participate. I am already being asked, 'Hey, how do I get in that Green Prix electric car class?' I have also noted that almost every student can bring a 'certain set of skills' to our team to help us assemble the F24 car.”
"Students are assigned with a role on their team, including team leader, electrical systems engineer, vehicle dynamics engineer, head of logistics, brand manager, marketing and communication leader and driver, teaching them about teamwork and individual responsibility toward a shared goal. They are also learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills at every stage of the car assembly process. Students will also create presentations outlining lessons learned during the project along with how they see the electrification of our vehicle industry will impact us in the future," officials said.
“The renewable energy and energy service related sector is one of the fastest growing in the nation with solar job rates growing at 17 times faster than the US economy in 2017. Volkswagen recently announced its $800 million electric car facility in Chattanooga that will generate 1,000 jobs. For green|spaces, this is an opportunity to host a program that aligns perfectly with our mission of promoting sustainable living, working, and building by creating a pipeline of students who are not only sustainably-minded but who are also developing a skill set for jobs that will be needed in the near future,” said Michael Walton, executive director at green|spaces.
For the competition, the students received a base Greenpower USA kit car with a chassis, wheels, motor and batteries with the instructions to assemble the kits and then create a shell of the car using as many recycled materials as possible. They also were asked to learn how to charge their batteries using renewable energy like solar power.
Contact Dawn Hjelseth at email@example.com to become a sponsor and help more schools participate. More information can be found here or by calling 423-648-0963.
Participating schools include:
•Orchard Knob Elementary
•Red Bank Elementary
•St. Peter’s Episcopal – 2 Teams
•Lookout Valley Elementary
•Clifton Hills Elementary
•Calvin Donaldson Elementary
•East Lake Elementary
•Howard High School
•East Lake Academy
•CGLA – 2 Teams
•Orchard Knob Middle
•Red Bank Middle
•Red Bank High
•Soddy Daisy Middle
•Signal Mountain High