Bringing high mileage autos to SHS

Thomas Collins-Oppenlander, Scribe Reporter

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Thomas Collins-Oppenlander

Senior Evan Pierson modifies the existing frame to improve the structure. SHS students, along with automotive teacher Jay Sullivan, will participate in the Challenge USA Wisconsin Energy Efficiency competition in April.

Anyone who drives a traditional vehicle knows that gas is expensive, and prices may continue to rise. As a result, fuel-efficient cars are gaining in popularity and high-mileage cars sales continue to climb as well. Now, Schaumburg High School students are bringing high-mileage automobiles to SHS as they prepare for the Challenge USA Wisconsin Energy Efficiency competition. This contest rewards the team with the highest mileage go-kart.

This competition requires students and their autos teacher(s) to design and build a go-kart from scratch. In their first attempts at building a high mileage go-kart, Schaumburg students must research and design an efficient structure before building a vehicle based solely around performance in high stress situations.

Students are required to work on all major components of the vehicle, including installing and troubleshooting systems such as suspension, electrical, steering.

Competition will be stiff for the SHS build team. Conant High School is going into their third year of competing and has won both years.

“My goal from participating in this competition is to end with a group of students who are proud of the go-kart and the work they accomplished within the time constraints,” said autos teacher Mr. Sullivan.

The design and build team includes seniors Evan Pierson, Thomas Collins-Oppenlander, Kyle Mundie, Jared Fates, and Kevin Novak.

“Learning how to design, manufacture, and install functioning parts of a vehicle [will] be beneficial to me and most of the other students who are doing this project.” said Pierson.

Pierson is looking forward to being able to drive the go-kart during the April “Road America” competition held in Wisconsin.

Schaumburg’s design, it bears pointing out, is not an entirely new build. The students are making improvements to the frame they bought from Conant High School which won while using that design.

The group will continue to perfect their go-kart until the challenge later this school year. Students hope that this competition will bring some much-needed enthusiasm and attention to solving the gas crisis. The group plans to compete in the coming years, continuing to develop new and innovative methods of increasing mileage.

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