Students zip through NM Electric Car Challenge

By Lindsey Kibler

Photography By Lindsey Kibler

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Students zip through NM Electric Car Challenge

Berrendo Middle School in Roswell took first place in the annual Electric Car Challenge sponsored by Sandia, Los Alamos National Laboratory, PNM, and Intel.

The challenge, held Nov. 19 at Albuquerque’s Van Buren Middle School, attracted some 150 middle school students from across the state.

In the challenge, now in its 10th year, students formed five-person teams at the beginning of the school year and were provided basic materials — a lithium-ion battery, a direct-current motor, and other materials such as a chassis and wheels — needed to build their cars.

“Our goal is to expose students to basic engineering. This allows them to see how math and science intersect,” says Sandia Community Involvement Dept. 3652 Manager Amy Tapia.

The teams discussed the designs of their cars, as well as the challenges they faced while constructing and running them. Teams also presented their research about using batteries as a power source.

Other top finishers included the sixth grade academy at Alta Vista Middle School in Carlsbad, which took second place for the second year in a row, and Carlsbad Intermediate School, which came in third.