EarthX was an amazing experience for the club to reach out to our community. While there we got an award for the best looking booth and got to educate people from all over the world. The EV Grand Prix is next week and all last minute preparations are being taken care of. One of the biggest things going on this week is we got a new fiberglass chair for the car because the old one broke while testing the car. We are also putting the final touches on our presentation and making sure it is ready to go for next week. Some final touches going on the car are the decals for the actual race and doing other routine checkups. Everyone in the club is pumped for the competition and being able to fly out of state to go to the Racing Capital of the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
EarthX is this following weekend and our club will have our very own Solar car booth. We have been planning out interactives for this booth in order to give people visiting a greater experience. Because EarthX is such the biggest earth day event in the world we have updated our flyers and are focusing on printing out, cutting, and folding enough for the 3 days we will be there. The club also designed and printed out posters for the booth to add some visuals that can be reused for other events. We have even planned out the placement of the elements within the booth. This was challenging because we needed a creative way to display the car and one or two solar panels and still have room for the main table. Our prom is the happening at the same time as the second day of EarthX so less club members will be present on that day. However, the club as a whole is very excited for this experience.
These past weeks, we have been very busy planning and participating in outreach events. During these events, we display the car and the riding gear our drivers wear at a booth and answer questions to those who come up and want to learn more about who we are and what we do. We also have a sign in sheet so we can keep track of those we have spoken to. This week, we have put a lot of focus into EarthX. It is the largest Earth Day celebration in the world. We are going to educate more people about the elements of solar powered cars. We are also building a kart stand in order to transport our solar car more efficiently. On the website, we added an archive with a rundown of what has happened in past club years such as our mistakes and achievements. In the following weeks, we will continue to plan outreach events, test out the kart and see how it performs, currently.
We are working on finishing the Physics Box and should be done with that relatively soon and we have been working diligently on finishing the Physics Box. Some accomplishments that have taken place are finding, getting in contact with multiple community outreach events, and planning on attending those outreach events such as Earth X, Eco Fair, and two Academy High presentation nights are where we will be showing off the solar car. Another accomplishment is that we have gotten in contact with a vendor who will make our team shirts for us for a very good price that will financially benefit us and we should be getting them very soon. Finally, we are checking the cart and making sure that all the maintenance is up to date for the technical inspections that will be done which is the Internal Audit.
We got the car rolling and we are starting to test drive it. Right now we are testing the cars energy efficiency. This past couple of weeks we have also been working on a montage video of the car and setting up other elements of the website. Last week we had an outreach even during the third years presentations. We pulled out the car, a solar panel, and some driving gear in order to educate more people about our club. This week we also started on designing the club t-shirts. The designs are not done yet but they should be finalized in the next few weeks.
We got the plasma cutter, the machine that failed earlier in the month, to work and were able to finish the the estop bracket. Also, we installed the bracket and are working on ordering the lights that also need to be attached to it. As for the ballast, we’ve cut out the pieces and drilled holes to mount it on the frame, but we’ve had trouble with the placement of the of the holes we drilled. Though the holes aren’t perfect, we are working on mounting the frame so that we can begin test driving it. We received our safety gear and are almost ready to test drive after one final inspection of the car, then we will be ready to roll.
We’ve been working on designing an emergency stop (estop) button bracket and coming up with a solution for how to create a ballast. The ballast is a counter weight that we did calculations for to figure out how much weight we needed and where to put it. We came to the conclusion that is would take a 36 pound ballast to counterbalance the motor. We need 12 pieces weighing approximately 3 lbs that are ¼” by 5.5” by 8.5”. As for the estop, we designed a ‘L’ shaped mount, but had to postpone some of the manufacturing of the part because the lead bolt for the plasma cutters shredded, which meant we had to order a new bolt. We are also working on updating the website and twitter page, which means rewriting content, revising what we already had, and taking pictures to upload.