BR High’s Solar Car Team Completes 225-Mile Texas Competition this Summer
- August 31, 2011
Sun Dog Racer, the Baton Rouge Magnet High School solar car built and designed by students, completed 225 miles during this summer’s 2011 Winston Solar Car Challenge held at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Undergoing 12 hours of engineering scrutiny, the eight-member team and car qualified for three-and-a-half days of racing.
Driven by student team Captain Rick Hochenedel and team member Mason Dennis, the car completed seven three-hour race sessions powered only by the sun and reached lap speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Team members Tony Licata, Taylor Mathews, Murphey Johnson, Carl Hochenedel, Van Lee, Joshua Broussard and team sponsor Peter Oelschlaeger (teacher and team advisor) manned the pit crew and recovery vehicle.
During the race, the team had to solve a power problem that slowed the car. The solution required designing the equipment for and installing a second power tracker to improve the solar array’s ability to store electricity in the 5,000-watt battery pack. A problem with excessive drag on the frontend necessitated a major change to the alignment of the car. With power restored and the drag reduced, the only challenges left were time, distance and heat, which reached 121 degrees Fahrenheit in the pits and 135 degrees Fahrenheit on the track.
Sun Dog Racer set a new team record with 225 miles completed and standings as high as ninth place. Finishing 13 out of 16 teams that qualified, the team never waivered in its determination to finish the race. It was the only team from Louisiana.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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