WACTC ENGINEERING, DRAFTING & DESIGN
RICM GREENPOWER FORMULA 24
Students from the WACTC Engineering, Drafting, and Design program participated for the first time in the RICM/Greenpower Formula 24 high school electric vehicle competition. The Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM), in partnership with Greenpower USA, hosted its second Greenpower Electric Car Challenge. The Greenpower Challenge is a hands-on STEM project that encourages students to explore aspects of design and teamwork. This project gives students the opportunity to connect with peers, technical faculty, and a mentor from the RICM to build and customize a formula-24 car kit as a real-world exploration of STEM careers.
The Greenpower Electric Car Challenge was founded in 1999 in the United Kingdom by the Greenpower Education Trust. They had a goal of enhancing the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) through a highly engaging and inspirational design-build-race competition with an emphasis on sustainability, multidisciplinary, and cross-curricular applied learning.
Level 2 & 3 Engineering, Drafting, and Design students entered the RICM/Greenpower Formula 24 competition and were given the opportunity to participate using a “borrowed” battery-powered race car. Due to supply chain issues, the delivery of the Formula 24 vehicle kit for the WACTC Engineering program was delayed, and the team was without a car. However, the RICM let the team borrow a vehicle normally utilized for the promotion of the program. The competition took place on the bicycle race course at Ninigret Park in Charlestown.
The borrowed vehicle was in need of basic maintenance and the team went to work on checking tire pressures, front wheel alignment, making steering ratio changes, measuring battery voltage, and charging batteries. The team diagnosed a problem regarding the chain guard rubbing on the drive chain and made adjustments to eliminate the problem. Students divided the responsibilities of the competition, taking on the roles of driving, car maintenance, timing & scoring, and battery charging. The competition required teams to complete 5 laps of the 9/10 mile long course as quickly as possible. Our WACTC team, with Trevor DiPanni driving in the first race, finished 3rd in the “stock” category and 4th overall. The second race, with Jazmin Budrow driving, finished 3rd in the “stock” category and 5th overall. Timing and scoring were performed by Kyle Stone for the first race and Trevor DiPanni for the second. Between races, the pit crew made adjustments to the car, swapped out the discharged batteries with a charged set, and helped the next driver get strapped in. WACTC’s pit crew consisted of Seniors Egan Dufresne & Andrew Cahoon along with Junior Connor Jackson.
The WACTC Engineering, Drafting & Design program will be receiving a Formula 24 race car kit later in the year. Students will then be assembling, making design improvements, designing and manufacturing vehicle components, as well as applying aerodynamic and structural analysis simulations. They will also be developing an understanding of direct current (DC) electrical systems and mechanical power transmission. Students will be participating and competing in a Northeast Regional Competition in May of 2024, against as many as 15 other schools all the way from Maine to Pennsylvania!