Posted: May 23, 2012 at 9:13 AM [May 23, 2012]
The Pioneer Wagoneers club was started this year by physics teacher Steve Armstrong with the goal of building an electric vehicle to compete in the Square One Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge Day at the Michigan International Speedway. On Saturday May 5th the team won 3 trophies, including the prized Chairman’s Award for best overall vehicle.
Square One looks to spark research talent for Michigan by encouraging high school students to get involved in hands-on design of innovative vehicles. Their gift of $5000 to Pioneer came from donations by IEEE, Eaton Corp, Nissan North America Inc., Yazaki North America Inc., and the Ford Motor Co. Fund.
The goal is to develop an efficient electric vehicle that travels the farthest in 20 minutes on an 800 Watt-hour charge with only the $5000 budget. Twelve high school teams competed at MIS. The three performance tests were on a Figure 8 Track, a Road Track, and an Oval Track at MIS. Pioneer won the first two events.
The design team was led by seniors Mark Strite and Jacob Winick and the vehicle featured lithium iron phosphate batteries, two brushless hub motors, a reclined driver’s seat, a lightweight aluminum frame welded by Mark, and a low steering rack. Teammates included Robert Minger, Stephen Doll, Nick Swafford, Rosanna Neuhausler, Michael Schickling, Drew Schmidt, and George Evans, with assistance by mentors Andrew Bayer and Myron Trenne (www.squareonenetwork.org). Additional tasks included measuring performance in trial runs, assessing battery function, painting the vehicle, and developing an Ambassadorship program which was an important component in the competition.
Jacob Winick drove the car in the three performance races, and it was rewarding to win three trophies after thousands of manhours on this project. A VBOX USA on-board performance monitoring system was a gift to the overall winner. The team visited Lawton Elementary to encourage the next generation of high schoolers to get excited about Innovative Vehicle Design in Michigan!