Patrick Gunter, director of the Cross Keys High School Manufacturing Center, stood amid a group of students busily putting the last finishing touches on a solar car they had been building for the last several months.
During the past year Gunter has been teaching at the high school, students from the DeKalb County Engineering and VEX Robotics teams have been working toward this moment to put all their training to work—each of the nearly 20 students involved in the solar car 2012 project worked daily for the past several months, in some cases up to 50 hours a week, Gunter said.
“I’ve been up all night and I kind of slept here,” Gunter said the day before the team left, as he walked down the hallway toward a workshop that held the solar array, or the roof of solar panels that powered the car.
The race will be held at the Texas Motor Speedway. The team will race for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon, over a period of four days.
The team left July 12 and is the first high school in Georgia to compete in the Solar Car Challenge, which ran July 14-19. Although they completed the car and made it to the race, much of it was built with donated parts and the team is still accepting donations to cover the group’s travel expenses.
For more details and the progress the team made during the race can be followed at www.solarcar2012.com.