This week, Road America and the CTECH Motorplex hosted some of America’s future engineering and manufacturing stars. STEM programs 'Challenge USA' and 'Formula Student USA' held their crown jewel events at the Elkhart Lake facility on Monday and Tuesday, each offering a unique and equally ambitious challenge.
On the 4-mile track, Challenge USA carried out their “Supermileage” and “Electrathon” events. The goal; lap the entire track while using the least amount of gas or electricity as possible. Each high school team is responsible for designing, developing, and building their own chassis and powertrains according to the rules. MPG estimates are in the hundreds, and for the Supermileage event, teams are only allowed to use a fuel tank smaller than the size of a soda can!
Meanwhile, at the CTECH Motorplex participants in the Formula Student event focus less on MPGs and more on building the fastest, most reliable racecar. Chassis rules are a bit more stringent in this category, and all components are either adapted from existing parts or custom-made by the students themselves. Students from the Ashwaubenon High School even let us take one of their new chassis for a test drive; a reverse-engineered Caterham/Lotus style vehicle strapped with a Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engine!
Hearing the passion in these student’s voices and seeing their skills in action was an inspiration. CTECH is proud to support the STEM Academy and many other similar programs taking place in Wisconsin and around the Midwest. With a bit of help, these young professionals are going to build a better future!