STC Engineers Club takes first place at 2nd annual electric car competition
South Texas College’s Future Engineers Club earned 1st place at the 2nd annual Green Power USA HESTEC Electric Car Competition held at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's Brownsville campus on April 5-6
Students with South Texas College’s Engineers Club brought home the gold following a whirlwind month of designing, manufacturing and ultimately testing their custom-made electric vehicle.
The students tested their expertise in STEM while working as a team and conquering challenges at the 2nd annual Green Power USA HESTC Electric Car Competition held at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Brownsville campus April 5-6.
STC’s Future Engineers Club “No. 28” car earned first place in the Institution of Higher Education category beating out Texas A&M Kingsville and UTRGV after stiff competition.
“For us to actually have a team that placed first feels really great,” said Future Engineers Club President, Berenice Padilla, who is majoring in Civil Engineering at STC. “It felt great to coordinate and motivate our team and to ensure we were on our way to success. We proved ourselves on Saturday.”
Students used electric car kits from GreenPower USA, a national organization based in Huntsville, Ala., which includes as its mission, the advancement of education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology to young people.
“It felt great to coordinate and motivate our team and to ensure we were on our way to success. We proved ourselves on Saturday.”
GreenPower organizes similar races across the nation. In Brownsville, South Texas College was among 26 teams that presented their cars, which they then raced for 90 minutes around a track created at the UTRGV campus.
Competitors were judged in three areas including a video segment produced by the crew, a presentation about the improvements made to the vehicle, and the performance of the car during the race itself.
“We put in a lot of hours in this, and we had to invest time in order to make mechanical, electrical and thermodynamic modifications to the car,” said Adan Gonzalez, a student with the club who also assisted in putting the vehicle together.
“It was quite a task because our team was formed maybe five weeks prior to the competition but we prioritized above all the temperature of the motor,” Gonzalez said. “The crew designed a custom-made heat sink that was manufactured at our own Technology Campus, and we saw a lot of improvement with that.”