We awoke to clouds and drizzle on our final day of the race. Our original plan was to trailer the car and drive sixty miles or so closer to Minneapolis, beat the rain, put the car on the road, and get as many miles as possible. We drove for twenty miles on a perfect road for a solar car—many miles of flat and smooth pavement. We then decided perhaps it would be best to return to near our starting point, wait for the rain to clear, and begin our journey with the advantage of the flat road. We located a truck stop and found ways to amuse ourselves.
The Solar Car Challenge crew declared the road safe for racing around 10:30AM and we were told the race had to end at 4:00PM; this limited the number of miles we would be able to make. We put the car on the road and it ran beautifully. The only problem was the overcast sky. Without the sun, it took quite sometime for the batteries to charge. We were able to make a few short runs of ten miles or so before we were forced by the clock to put the car on the trailer. We added 35.4 miles to our mileage tally. Later that evening, at the awards banquet, we learned that our grand total was 229.3 miles. Our competitors from Plano, Texas completed the race in 229.6 miles. A very close race! Surprisingly the disappointment of not winning first place was minimal. The Plano team came to congratulate us and both teams did a bit of horseplay while posing for trophy photos.
The first rain on the trip.
The Lucks Tux. Mr. Lucks is dressed for success!
Steve checks the fuses.
Final Team Meeting
Here is a video of the final morning meeting.
Cameron accepts our trophy for placing first on day six of the race.
Here is a link to yesterday's KCAU interview:
Here are a few images I took while trailering the car and trying to beat the rain.
Waiting for the sun at a truck stop
Our judge for the day was Bill Floss. We discovered that he is a retired New Paltz Earth Science and Chemistry teacher, and a friend of retired BOCES Small Engine Repair instructor, Roger Cosh. It was nice to meet someone from the Hudson Valley.
Elijah is an AMAZING dancer and entertained us while waiting for the sun to return.
The rain prevented a grand entrance into our final destination, but we were very pleased to discover that Dr. Khoury and Alex's Aunt Dotty were there to meet us. We felt badly that due to the weather they were not able to see any solar cars running. Aunt Dotty made a congratulatory sign that made us all smile. I would like to also point out that while in Manhattan, Kansas working on the car in extreme heat, Chris's Aunt Lisa met us, bought the kids a delicious lunch, and traveled part of the race with us. We are thankful to have had the support of family and friends.
Cameron only found out one day prior that as team captain he would have to speak at the awards banquet. He spent part of the day writing his speech. It was a thoughtful speech and he made all of us proud. Here is a video of Cameron's speech.
Some of the captains at the head table.
Cameron was given an award for "The Order of the Solar Cell"
After dinner, Wiliam Shih, Assistant Director of the Solar Car Challenge, announced the winners for each division. When he got to our division, Electric Solar Car, he said that he had never seen a race so close. Our team drove a total of 229.3 miles and took second place. The first place team drove 229.6 miles and were awarded the first place trophy.
Team Volt Tech with their trophy. Front row: Mr. Lucks, Tyler Brown, Cameron Miller, Chris Garrison, Steve Scribani, Nick Vincent, Elijah Leveque, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Lord
First place winners from Plano, Texas congratulated us and we decided to take a group photo.
The trip really wasn’t about the car or the race, it was about learning and growing. In the span of ten days students learned to listen, be responsible, communicate, help, and practice tolerance.
It was a privilege to be with these young adults. I witnessed them break down barriers and accept one another for who they are and become caring and supportive friends. I watched dedicated teams of teens from across the country work together to ensure a successful day of racing. During the precious hours of down time, these same teens conversed with their competitors about their cars, home states, schools, and common interests. It was an extraordinary experience for all of us and we are grateful to have participated the Solar Car Challenge.