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Newburgh Free Academy Concept Vehicle Racing Team (CVRT) Place 7th in International Competition
The Newburgh Free Academy, Concept Vehicle Racing Team (CVRT) competed at the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas 2018 in Sonoma, California this weekend. This is a national competition where our students will be competing against roughly 100 teams from high schools and colleges/universities across throughout North and South America.
The Newburgh Free Academy, Concept Vehicle Racing Team finished in seventh place as a result of the weekend competition. In the past, NFA CVRT has placed quite high. Just last year, the team placed 3rd out of 124 teams from North and South America.
The competition team participating this year consists of 11 students from 10th-12th grades, six teachers, and one retiree, however about 110 students have worked on the vehicle that the team will be racing throughout the year. Students have put in an estimated 1,000 hours of work during class and after school hours. Each high school, college, or university is only allowed to submit one team for the competition. The team worked from November 21, 2017 to April 21, 2018 and achieved 165.22 miles per gallon in their competition.
Teachers try to utilize 21st century skills that students will be able to transfer as they transition behind high school. Students begin in Mr. Schweizer’s class discussing and planning the design. Eventually, they draw a blue print of what they want to build. Templates and blue prints require a lot of math, measuring, and attention to detail. Then, Mr. Czarnecki’s welding classes make the vehicle frame. Students then wrap the car in a mold and build a cover made out of carbon fiber. Throughout the process, students and teachers from different classes such as engineering, design, electronics, auto mechanics, welding, and chemistry are all involved in the process.
Mr. Matthew Schweizer teaches engineering and design. Mr. Bjorn Hansen teaches electronics. Mr. Eric Czarnecki teaches welding. Mr. Senol Yakup teaches auto body. Mr. Sahr Bundor and Mr. Ryan Roraback teach auto mechanics. Ms. Arielle Polakos teaches chemistry. Retired teacher and former CVRT advisor, Mr. Wolf is heavily involved as well. Mr. Guy Du Quensnay has been filming the process for features on Goldback Television. Mr. Cotton and his construction academy students built a stand for the car.
Students are eligible to join the club when they enter high school in 9th grade, but usually take a year before traveling with the team to the national competition.
Kevin Martinez, 12th grade will be driving the student made car during the competition. All drivers are required to have a driver’s license in their state or country. Rules of the race require cars to maintain a speed at or below around 30 mph. The student-constructed car is outfitted on all the things you would see on a regular car including lights, turn signals, a trunk, breaks, and a steering wheel. Some parts were recycled from previous cars while others were donated or purchased through fundraising efforts.
Students from Newburgh Free Academy have competed in similar competitions for decades. Competitions have transitioned from solar to concept vehicle in recent years. The last year that the team competed in a solar car competition, they won their division. This year’s competition focuses on use of efficient energy resources, which often means electric cars that run off of solar along with other energy efficient resources like diesel, gasoline, hydrogen fuel cell, or propane. Cars are grouped into car types and energy types for the competition.
Previously, the NFA CVRT competed in the prototype class. This year, the team is competing in the urban concept class.
To follow along on their adventures, hop on over to Instagram and/or Twitter and follow. You will be both impressed and entertained!
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