On Friday May 30, thirteen Trumbull Technology Education students competed in an alternative energy vehicle race at a go cart track in Berlin, Conn. During the weeks before, the students brainstormed, designed and modified certain parts of the electric vehicle to fix and make improvements from last year's vehicle design.

The group had to fix the rear axle and redo the motor mounts. One of the most difficult parts was coming up with a design to have the drive wheel sprocket and motor sprocket to perfectly line up so the chain would track perfectly straight, according to technology teacher, Matt Iaccarino.

"After some thought we were able to do and it worked great," he said.

The race constraints are that students are limited to a one horsepower DC electric motor, and two 12 volt car batteries to power the vehicle. A difficult part of the race is that participants are not allowed to recharge batteries, so getting an efficient gear ratio is essential.

"The race consisted of 12 teams from schools around the state," Iaccarino said.There were four, 15-minute heats, where we had to try to complete as many laps as possible.

Each heat of the race was driven by a different student." The four student drivers were Luke Bolton, Andrew Banas, Patrick Hallstrom and Austin Held. One of the largest obstacles was to build a reliable, strong car that could hold up to the hour of drive time with little to no problems.

Throughout the four heats our lap counts were as follows: 25, 26, 24, and 28 laps. Trumbull students completed a total of 103 laps. The winner barely nudged the students out, getting 104 laps.

"We look forward to going back next year to try to take first place," Iaccarino said.