Sandia LabNews

New Mexico Electric Car Challenge

Students, start your engines

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Young engineers revved up their engines for the 9th annual New Mexico Electric Car Challenge STEM competition.

More than 200 young engineers from middle schools across the state recently competed in the New Mexico Electric Car Challenge at Albuquerque’s Highland High School.

At the beginning of the school year, the student teams were given a lithium-ion battery, a direct-current motor, and other materials such as a chassis and wheels. Over the next several weeks, the teams designed and built electric cars to race on Nov. 21. Twenty Sandia volunteers helped organize and run the event, now in its ninth year. The full-day event, sponsored by Sandia, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Intel, and PNM, also included a design competition and an optional oral presentation.

Teams from P.R. Leyva Middle School in Carlsbad took first and third place, and the Sixth Grade Academy at Alta Vista Middle School, also in Carlsbad, took second place.

“The challenge introduces a diverse group of students to engineering. They encounter problems, even on race day, and they figure out solutions – just like our engineers,” said Amy Tapia, manager of Community Involvement.