HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A team of high school students from Huntsville is building an electric powered car to represent the United States--for the first time--in an international race in London.
They call themselves Green Power Team U.S.A. and they're going after the top spot in hopes of bringing the race to their home turf for the benefit of all high schools in the country and enthusiasm for technology.
On Tuesday, the students showed up at the Huntsville Center for Technology to show off an electric car made from a kit. They admitted that was cool, but not nearly as cool as the car they're designing from scratch to compete in two Green Power car races in the United Kingdom.
"This is the final shape it's going to look like," said Nicholas Peterson, a senior at New Century High School and contributor to the Green Car Team USA's race car. He was holding a whie-colored mold of a space-aged looking car.
"It's carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, just a lot of hard work," said Peterson.
"It all started as a drawing as an idea," said Franco Camarillo, another senior from New Century High School. "And look at it now," he said with a smile, gesturing to the frame of a car behind him.
About 14 students have been working on the vehicle, ever since January 2012, when they were invited to compete against 500 European teams racing in London, England.
The students are using what they've learned in their technology classes to make it happen.
"This is workforce development, this is career readiness," said Rena Anderson, a spokeswoman for Huntsville City Schools.
The students are using materials from the cancelled "Ares" launch vehicle, as well as parts donated by companies from around Huntsville.
It is powered by an electric motor and two car batteries, can go up to 60 miles per hour, and will weigh about 200 pounds, without a driver, when it's done.
And Green Power Team U.S.A. is driving for more than just a good showing on the track.
"Hopefully by competing in this, it will allow us to bring the race to the us next year," said Peterson. "It will get a lot more high schools involved."
To help them, the Huntsville company SAIC presented the team with a handsome check Tuesday morning.
The $2,500 can be used for more parts on the car or travelling expenses for the team members.
A spokesman for the company said, pointing to the team, "This is serious engineering represented here and these are high school kids."
They are also perhaps the designers of future modes of transportation.
Green Power Team U.S.A. will compete in a race in June to determine their position in the final race in October.
Members are trying to raise money to get 12 to 14 students to London and back twice.
They're appealing to business partners to help them, financially.
If you can help or have any questions, contact the students' adviser and teacher, Mike Evans, @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 256-428-7810.
You can also learn more about the team on their Facebook site: Click here.
WHNT NEWS 19 will follow the team's progress, as they represent the state and country for the first time.