B&W Pantex Hosts Electric Car Race Saturday

  • Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013, 12:00 am

Area middle schoolers work to build renewable energy vehicles

A record number of middle school teams will gather Saturday to put their engineering and building skills to the test at the annual B&W Pantex Electric Battery Car Race.

The race, which is part of the National Science Bowl, will pit 29 teams of car builders against each other in a competition to build the fastest battery powered car. The event challenges students to use scientific knowledge, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork to design and build a car powered by renewable energy.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsors the car races, with different types of propulsion chosen for the cars. In prior years, the cars were powered by solar power or Hydrogen fuel cells. This year, DOE chose electric battery cars. Teams were given kits a month ago to assemble into the fastest, most stylish car they can create.

“This is always an exciting, enjoyable event for our area middle schools,” said race coordinator Debra Halliday. “It’s a fun and exciting way for us to encourage a new generation of inventors and engineers.”

The races start at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Tascosa High School cafeteria. Each race will feature four cars running down a 20-meter track, as well as a competition for car design, craftsmanship, creativity and the most appealing design.

All Amarillo media is invited to attend the races, which will run through the morning, with a pause for lunch from 11 a.m. to noon. The finals will take place after lunch and should be concluded by 12:30 p.m. Interviews with race organizers, coaches and students will be available.