The Chattanooga Green Prix, an electric power race car competition, will allow at least 20 more schools to participate next school year.
Thanks to the Lyndhurst Foundation for offering a matching grant, more local elementary, middle and high schools will be able to participate.
Last year, eight local schools were selected to participate as the pilot group in the inaugural Chattanooga Green Prix hosted by GreenSpaces.
Howard High School, Dalewood Middle School, East Lake Academy, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Chattanooga School for Liberal Arts, Nolan Elementry, Woodmore Elementary and STEM School Chattanooga were asked to design and build the electric power race cars.
Stem School team adviser Sue Williamson said she enjoyed seeing students working collaboratively together throughout the building process.
“They learned so much math and science as they had to troubleshoot issues leading up to race day,” she said. “During the actual race, I loved watching how they were able to troubleshoot and find solutions to get the car back onto the track.”
For this coming school year, 24 other public schools are interested in participating.
Most of the schools interested are Title 1 schools.
Lyndhurst Foundation will help match up to 10 cars, five for middle and high schools and five for elementary schools.
GreenSpaces is seeking local companies to become sponsors for the program to help purchase the base kits required to build the cars and give as many schools as possible the opportunity to participate.
Sponsors will be recognized by having their logo displayed on the car, just like NASCAR.
The kits are reusable year after year, allowing hundreds of students to participate with a one-time investment.
Elementary school car kits are $3,000 and Middle and High school kits are $6,000.
“For GreenSpaces, this is an opportunity to host a program that aligns perfectly with our mission of promoting sustainable living, working and building by creating a pipeline of students who are not only sustainably-minded but who are also developing a skill set for jobs that will be needed in the near future,” GreenSpaces Executive Director Michael Walton said.
The program encourages students to think creatively, work hands-on and as a team by teaching STEM learning objectives in a new way.
Participants are assigned roles such as captain, parts manager, marketing/pr and driver.
Students have to work together in order to finish the car correctly and on time.
“Our goal is to become a regional hub for races in Chattanooga,” GreenSpaces Director of Development Dawn Hjelseth said.
There are already about 60 teams around the Huntsville area and many more in places like Florida, Texas and Indiana.
“Teams compete for points, with the top teams becoming eligible to compete in the international race in England,” Hjelseth said. “By hosting the races here in Chattanooga, we will eliminate much of the travel expenses allowing many more schools to participate locally.”
Interested companies can contact Hjielseth at [email protected] or by calling 423-648-0963.