For students at Westside High School, it’s not slow and steady, but slow and energy-efficient that wins the race. Three Westside Engineering and Geosciences Academy (WEGA) teams will compete in the seventh annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas (SEMA) April 5-7, 2013 in downtown Houston.
The Shell competition recognizes students who design the highest miles-per-gallon performing vehicles. Student teams from around the world were tasked with designing, building, and testing ultra energy-efficient vehicles. The goals for the 2013 competition: surpass last year’s record of 2,188 MPG (awarded to a team from Indiana) and to take home the coveted win for “Best Electric Car”.
Utilizing materials such as bamboo, aluminum cans, hemp, and epoxy, the W.E.G.A. students designed one gas-powered and two electric cars to send to the competition.
“As more and more schools from across the Americas participate in the challenge each year, it’s easy to see that Shell Eco-marathon truly inspires all of us to think about energy efficiency and the ways we can work together to create tomorrow’s energy solutions in a practical way today,” said Mark Singer, Shell Eco-marathon Global Project Manager in a related article.
Westside’s teams this year are:
- League of WEGA, whose vehicle is named “Woof”
- WEGA Gents, whose vehicle is named “The Boss”
- WEGA Wolves, whose vehicle is named “Swagster”
“The students learn to challenge themselves at a higher level,” said Westside HS Dean of Students Sarah Castro. “Although they get assistance from their teacher, Felipe Resendez, the students work on their own—dreaming, designing, fundraising, ordering parts, building, and competing. SEMA has become the ultimate challenge for our students.”