EV Challenge now SMARTT Challenge
Submitted by Jennifer Goodwin Whitley
Announcing the SMARTT Challenge, a national alternative fuel education program.
SMARTT is an acronym for Students Making Advancements in Renewable Transportation Technology.
SMARTT Challenge, formerly the EV Challenge, is sponsored by the nonprofit Carolina Electric Vehicle Coalition, Inc. (CEVC), based in Wake County. The CEVC’s mission is to provide quality educational programs related to alternative transportation fuels.
The name change, along with an updated logo, reflects the program’s revised curriculum, which has expanded its electric vehicle focus to include additional alternative transportation fuels and technologies, said Jennifer Goodwin Whitley, CEVC executive director. "We're still focusing on raising awareness about the importance of alternative fuels and transportation technologies," she said. "We're just expanding that message and our educational programs to reflect some of the advancements that have been made since my dad started the program more than 12 years ago."
Whitley's father Ralph Goodwin, who helped to found and launch the program in 1995, died last year. She has assumed the role of the program's executive director and is working to expand its mission and reach.
SMARTT Challenge is unique among alternative fuel education programs because its comprehensive approach and year-long curriculum span nearly all disciplines, including math, science, auto mechanics, physics, engineering, electronics, language arts and more.
The program has both high school and middle school components, with curricula focusing on alternative fuels geared to each age.
The highlight of the high school program is the design and construction of street-legal electric vehicles that students enter into a national contest held annually in Wake County during a two-day rally called the Final Event, scheduled for 2008 on May 16 at Oak View County Park and May 17 at the McKimmon Center.
Middle school students design and build model solar cars that are also entered into competitions at the Final Event.
Thousands of students from 10 states (North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island and Florida) have participated in the program over the last 12 years. More than 25 schools from the Southeast have already committed for the 2007-2008 school year.
Schools and sponsors interested in participating in SMARTT Challenge are invited to contact Whitley. For further information, visit:
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS:
Identify operating issues associated with conventional and alternative fuels
Design and convert a gasoline vehicle to street-legal electric power
Identify local community partners and sponsors
Develop a web page and create an oral presentation
Demonstrate diagnostic and trouble-shooting skills
Enter electric vehicles in events across the Southeast
Compete in range and autocross events
As of January, 2008, new (unregistered) teams may still register for the May competition if they are already working on a conversion or have a good plan to be ready by May.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM PARTICULARS:
Centered around nationally recognized Junior Solar Sprint program, sponsored by the US Department of Energy
Build and race small solar race cars
Apply math, science, solar energy, electrical vehicle construction and creativity
Judged on creativity, technical innovation and speed
As of January, 2008, there is still time for new schools/teams to learn the ropes and to start working on vehicles.
Real-world applications of environmental and energy issues that face our world today
Fosters teamwork among students, faculty and community
Involves, excites and challenges students who may not have traditionally excelled in academia
Nationally recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency with the Clean Air Excellence Award for outstanding commitment to preventing air pollution and improving air quality
EV Challenge (former name) coverage and recognition in scores of local news media outlets and several national outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Parade Magazine
Number of schools participating has grown from three in 1995 to more than 45 in recent years
Full-size electric vehicles built by high school students since program began: more than 100
Number of schools participating in middle school program since program began in 2001 has grown from four to 14 in recent years
Students involved in the program since 1995: approximately 22,200
Citizens exposed to alternative fuel vehicles via SMARTT Challenge each year: more than 250,000
PAST NORTH CAROLINA EV CHALLENGE SCHOOL PARTICIPANTS
Ahoskie: Hertford County High School
Angier: Harnett Central High
Apex: Lufkin Road Middle
Barco: Currituck High School
Cary: Davis Drive Middle
Conway: Northampton-East High School; Conway Middle School
Dudley: Southern Wayne
Durham: Southern Durham High School
Edenton: John Holmes High School
Garner: East Garner Middle School; Garner High School
Graham: Southern Middle School
Hampstead: Topsail High School
Henderson: Northern Vance High School
Kenly: North Johnston High School
Lincolnton: Lincoln County School of Technology
Lillington: Western Harnett High School
Lumberton: Robeson County Career Center
McLeansville: Northeast-Guilford High School
Monroe: Union County Career Center
Mooresville: Lakeshore Middle School
Morehead City: West Carteret High School
Mount Holly: East Gaston High School
Roanoke Rapids: Chaloner Middle; William R. Davie Middle; Roanoke Rapids High
Raleigh: Enloe High School; Martin Middle School; Leesville Road Middle School
Roxboro: Person County High School
Southport: South Brunswick Middle School
Sylva: Smoky Mountain High School
Wake Forest: Wake Forest-Rolesville High School
Wendell: East Wake High School
Wilmington: New Hanover High School
Winston-Salem: Winston-Salem/Forsyth Career Center