Not the singing group but a whole bunch of new teams. The Middleton, Strawberry Crest and Wharton High School teams are all stocked with new drivers and pit crews this year.
All the new teams had good a day on the track at the HCC Brandon Campus. Other than the normal flat tires there were no problems other than when three cars were trying to fit into the space for two cars and Middleton took out some of the cones.
Race day was a question mark with the weather looking rather questionable early. The first race was delayed for 30 min. for conditions to improve.
The Brandon #9 was all set to start to defend its 2013-2014 Championship against its Tampa Bay Tech #242 nemesis. During the first race things were close till midway through the race when Brandons #9 lost power and finished in last place. Turns out that the motor control computer was not set up properly with the under volts cut off set to high. They didn’t have their laptop to reprogram the controller so the #9 was out of contention for both races.
TBT ran two strong races taking first in both and 1st place overall in the High School class. A good start for their Senior driver Brady. TBT should have a second car ready by the next race. The Science Club will be running one of the old USF cars by then.
The Brandon #14 car finished a close second in both races and 2nd overall in the High School class.
Now for the New Kids On The Block. The surprise of the day was Middleton. With the redesign of their car they finished a strong 3rd in the first race with 85 laps. With brand new drivers and a redesigned car they will be a team to look out for. In the second race the battery bug bit them and they finished last. They were passed by a snail on the last lap but were able to complete the hour. They only have one set of old batteries and couldn’t get them fully recharged between races. Better batteries and look out.
Strawberry Crest and Wharton both had all new drivers and pit crews. Both ran steady races with both teams getting bit by the tire Monster.
Strawberry Crest also had a great pit stop area set up with burgers and drinks for all during the break between races. It was much appreciated by all.
The Wharton pit crew did a fantastic job on a tire change. The worst tire to blow is the drive wheel because you have to dismount it from the chain and fork then readjust everything.
In the Open Class Tiger Racing with Rodney at the wheel took up where he left off last year, winning it all. The Electrocutioners #90 took second overall for the day.
The HCC team with a lot of new members ran two strong races. They were just two laps out of second place in the first race. They got bit by the Tire Monster too in the second race and finished off the pace. HCC is looking good for the start of the year.
The Electrocutioners #8 running Lithium Ion batteries is in a class by itself, literally. Drew had the top lap count in the first race but had steering problems in he second race and had to withdraw.
Tiger Racing and the Electrocutioners #90 battled it out in a fairly close second race finish. After one hour of racing the margin of victory was 1.25 seconds in favor Electrocutioners #90. A blink and you missed it.
The next race is Nov. 1st at Strawberry Crest High School. Weather should not be a worry so we look forward to more teams competing.
Stats to follow
As the start of the new school year is upon us here is some exciting and important information.
The SkillsUSA State Championships will be held at the Lakeland Center in April. Dates are not set but it will be held over two days. We will hold races both days. The regional competition will be held locally at Tampa Bay Tech, Middleton High School and Erwin Technical Center. The skills competition, our races, will be on the first day. Dates are not set but it will be early February.
SkillsUSA competitions are held during the week so no weekend racing.
When talking with Dale Fasenmeyer, the District Rep for SkillsUSA, we talked about requirements for Electrathon Clubs to participate. The take away from the meeting is SkillsUSA = S.T.E.M. = Electrathon. That means just about any program with an electrathon car is eligible. High School and Post Secondary
Electrathon Of Tampabay will be holding a meeting in August and the regional SkillsUSA will hold an organizational meeting in Sept. I will be at both meetings so stand by for more detailed information.
Vic. Nieves ETO Program Director
Electrathon of Tampa Bay Organization (ETO) was formed in 2008 as a Florida Nonprofit Corporation to promote and strengthen interest in Engineering in the (7) County TBARTA Service Area plus neighboring Polk County. We are an umbrella organization (9) Electrathon Car Clubs and (21) Junior Solar Sprint Clubs (JSS). Our Board is comprised of Educators, Engineers, Physicists and Community Business Leaders who have a demonstrated passion and a solid track record of providing our student teams with hands-on accessible learning opportunities related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This all volunteer group of visionary and strategic thinking adults are welded together by a common vision of improving the future of our students, our families and our Country through competitive engineering endeavors and real world learning projects open and accessible to all. We are the only such organization in the Southeastern United States.
ETO’s Vision is to contribute to the laying of a foundation for a green, vibrant, low carbon future full of possibilities and opportunities for tomorrow’s children throughout Florida. It is ETO’s Mission to make this contribution by promoting Electrathon Racing and Solar and other Alternative Fuels Technologies involved in Junior Sprint Racing, endeavors full of technological entrepreneurial challenges and adventure.
ETO’s Management Operations are characterized by cooperativeness, inclusivity and streamlined flexible decision making. All of ETO’s Management Operations are fully transparent with periodic accountability reviews/mechanisms prescribed by our Corporate Bylaws. Given our present situation of imminent growth, there are a number of antecedent business needs and goals that must be met to insure that ETO’s Management Operations continue to be well managed as we pursue our growth plans.
ETO’s Competitive Technological Events and Educational Programs are unique when compared to other related programs such as Robotics Programs because of their accessibility to a wider student academic base and because of their ongoing cost advantages. Our Event Operations conform to the requirements of Electrathon America (EA) the national sanctioning body for Electrathon Racing while our Junior Sprint Division Operations conform to the guidelines of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). While our Competitive Racing Events, Electrathon Program and our Educational Projects have demonstrably spurred student academic interest and attainment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) there are needs for event equipment, project funding and logistics.
ETO’s (4) Year Operational Goals and Outreach stand at the doorway of a soaring future with an eagerly anticipated ETO Electrathon Program Certification in August 2011 by SkillsUSA, a federal nationwide technical educational organization. This certification, together with several developing and supportive relationships with professional technical groups such as the IEEE Tampa Bay RAS, the Florida Solar Energy Center and Gulf Power Engineering Society when coupled with the solid interest expressed by school systems across Florida and Georgia, puts ETO in a solid position to expand statewide into the six Florida SkillsUSA Regions and potentially across the Southeast and beyond.
ETO’ s (4) Year Projections and Financial Statement cover the next four school years and solidly undergirds our nascent and ambitious expansion plans. Our expansion plans are already coalescing. However while ETO has demonstrated its self be a dynamic and agile organization capable of responding quickly and adapting to change and while we are confident in our abilities to expand, we are presently resource constrained and thus offer a huge opportunities for meaningful and productive partnerships and sponsorships. One unknown in our financial projections is the potential for team funding access provided by our affiliation with SkillsUSA. ETO has no doubt that our SkillsUSA imprimatur will result in some alternate sources of funding for individual teams and perhaps ETO as well.