Burke County High School

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Burke County High School TSA members will build, test and drive an electrical vehicle at the 2010 Georgia Electric Vehicle Rally

At Burke County High School, TSA advisor Mark Flowers teaches an Energy and Power class. Students in the class, along with members of the TSA chapter advised by Mr. Flowers, are building an electric car that will race this spring 2010 at the Georgia Electric Vehicle Rally. The students build, test and drive the car themselves.  

The Georgia's Electric Vehicle Rally is a unique event that allows all schools interested in Electric Vehicle Education, to display and compare their team efforts against many other schools in 6 different competition areas: Academics; Quiz Bowl, Trouble Shooting and Oral Presentation and Driving: Acceleration, Autocross and Range.
 
Mr. Flowers is using the kit and curriculum materials developed by EV Master’s Electric Vehicle Education Program. The participants race the car around a track, through an obstacle course and have to take a hands-on troubleshooting written test to challenge their knowledge of the vehicle.
The students will build the car and will actually test and drive the car in several racing events. One event involves multiples laps where drivers each take turns driving, another event focuses on distance and another is an agility-type course (breaking). Mr. Flowers said, “any school in Georgia with an electric go-cart style vehicle can compete, you aren’t required to have the kit.
 
According to their website, EVMaster “was founded on the premises of fulfilling the tremendous need for competent professionals in the fields of electric and alternate fuel systems that are fast becoming the standard of transportation for our new generations.” EVMaster’s Electric Vehicle Education Program developed a modular educational electric vehicle package that is currently used in schools to teach different curriculums. Many times a year, several types of workshops are offered to train and support the teachers. EVMaster co-sponsors events for EM-TVs and other vehicles to compete at local, state and national levels.
 
“I see this as a way to bring the classroom to life! The one thing that can make a class feel like they have done something significant is to create a useful item. The Electric Vehicle takes a boring lesson about electricity and simple machines and gives it real world application. This is especially important in a time where alternative energy is such a hot button topic,” said Mr. Flowers. In addition to getting the kids excited about learning about electricity and simple machines, these activities correlate to the state of Georgia’s performance standards:
 
Engineering-STEM5 – Students will select and demonstrate techniques, skills, tools, and understanding related to energy and power, bio-related, communication, transportation, manufacturing, and construction technologies.
Engineering-STEM3 – Students will design technological problem solutions using scientific investigation, analysis and interpretation of data, innovation, invention, and fabrication while considering economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability constraints.
  
Other non-traditional learning efforts for the Burke County TSA chapter included a recent visit to the Georgia Nature Center and a visit to see self-sustaining home powered by solar panels in Watkinsville,
GA. 
 
Mr. Flowers would like to have a second EV Master’s Electric Vehicle kit to maximize the number of students that can compete against each other.  To cover the cost of the kits the chapter is currently coordinating sponsorship efforts  with a local seller of golf carts,  as well as with Georgia Power.