Chattanooga Green Prix Teaches Students STEM Skills As They Race Electric Cars They Designed And Built

Friday, February 21, 2020

For the past school year, hundreds of Hamilton County students have been taking on the challenge to design and build full-sized, functioning electric power race cars. They will be putting their work to the test at the upcoming Chattanooga Green Prix on March 13 and 14 at the Bend, 1119 Riverfront Pkwy.

The program was started in 2017 by green|spaces to encourage STEM learning through a unique hands-on learning opportunity. Today, through the support of numerous sponsors, more than 40 local teams will be competing against teams coming from around the Southeast including Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

The event begins on March 13 with the elementary school competition. Students will be challenged in Drag, Slalom and Circuit race courses. The race fun continues on March 14 with middle and high schools enduring a grueling 90 minute race to see who can complete the most laps during the time.

On both days, teams will also be judged for their teamwork and presentation skills. Students present a summary of what they have learned, their vision for future cars, and more. As there are only a few driving positions, most of the crew takes on additional roles including Electric Systems Engineer, Telemetry Engineer, Vehicle Dynamics Engineer, Marketing Manager, Head of Logistics, and Body Designer.

“The Green Prix was the most engaging experience for my students," said a program advisor at Barger Academy. "My students had such a sense of accomplishment after taking several boxes that show up at school and building and putting those components together into a complete car they all got to drive. My students are so excited to compete again next year." 

“We are so very lucky to have the support of the community on this program," said Dawn Hjelseth, director of development of green|spaces. "The kids have a once in a lifetime experience while learning skills that they will be able to use in future careers. We still have 12 schools on the waiting list for the program that would love to participate and we are currently looking for sponsors to help them be ready to compete in the 2020/2021 school year.”

Volunteers are also needed for the upcoming race. Over 100 opportunities are available including helping on the course, in the pits, concessions and registration. The Chattanooga Region Sports Car Club of America has been a long standing volunteer group helping with timing, scoring and flagging.

“At EPB, we’re committed to helping local students prepare for the tech jobs of tomorrow through STEM learning activities like Chattanooga Green Prix,” said Ken Jones, EPB manager of Fiber Design and Board Chair for green|spaces. “As students build electric race vehicles, they take a first step toward developing the high-level of energy expertise EPB utilizes every day to deliver our services. We also appreciate the opportunity to partner with green|spaces, Volkswagen, and others in raising awareness about the many benefits of driving electric including environmental sustainability.”

The Chattanooga Green Prix is sponsored by: The Lyndhurst Foundation, Fullgraf Foundation, Volkswagen, Greater Chattanooga Robotics, EPB, TVA, Chattanooga Breakfast Rotary Club, OTW Safety, Urban Story Ventures, Benwood Foundation, and Nash ICON.

Car Sponsors include: RockRidge Venture Law, UnFoundation, Krystal Foundation, Rotary Club of Chattanooga, and Terracon.

For more information about volunteering, please contact marissa@greenspaceschattanooga.org or to become a sponsor, please contact dawn@greesnpaceschattanooga.org.

Participating schools include: Nolan Elementary | Orchard Knob Elementary | Red Bank Elementary | Rivermont Elementary | St. Peter’s Episcopal | Lookout Valley Elementary | Harrison Elementary | Woodmore Elementary | East Lake Elementary | Clifton Hills Elementary | Brown Academy | Barger Academy | Hillcrest Elementary | Hardy Elementary | Dupont Elementary | Middle Valley Elementary | Bright School| Dalewood Middle | Hixson Middle | Howard Connect | Orchard Knob Middle | Red Bank Middle | Soddy Daisy Middle | East Lake Academy | Ooltewah Middle | Baylor School | The Howard School | STEM School | Brainerd High | McCallie School | Sequoyah High | Red Bank High | CGLA | Central High | Signal Mountain Middle High | Chattanooga Prep


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