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GreenPower Racing

Middle Schoolers racing to learn important skills

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iddle school students in the Troup County School System are practicing life skills in a whole new way and having fun while they’re learning. Long Cane Middle School (LCMS) student, Summer Horne, had been working with her father on car maintenance for years. She says it is something they bond over. She was surprised to learn she could transfer the knowledge she already gained from her father to the classroom if she signed up for the GreenPower Tech class at her school. “An announcement was made over the intercom about GreenPower Tech. It sounded like something I would be interested in so I worked with my teachers to learn more.” said Horne, a member of the Cougar Strong Racing Team. GreenPower USA encompasses a wide variety of STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) that exposes students to the world of engineering and innovation through a challenge based around designing and building a single seat electric powered race car. The GreenPower Tech course started in the fall at all three Troup County School System (TCSS) middle

of the TCSS Administrative Building and even led a presentation about their efforts during a Board of Education meeting. Members of the team believe this is more than just a class – it’s a learning experience that is helping to teach them life and future work skills while learning to build a racing car from scratch. Bo Dyes, 8th grader at Long Cane said he has had the opportunity to practice his engineering skills by working with the electrical systems of the car. “I’ve learned that the battery needs a certain type of electrical system to make it run correctly. Now, my focus is to make it run faster,” said Dyes. When the teammates rally during a race, they understand winning is about endurance – or how long the car lasts – as opposed to speed. During their first race in Chambers County, the team took the 2nd place overall trophy home. The only two teams ahead of them were the team that won the national

GreenPower Tech instructor at LCMS said, “This elective class is a semester long and it is a hands-on environment. The students take engineering concepts and learn how to make custom parts to fit the needs of the vehicle. If something is not working, they have to figure out how to make it work properly. This is truly a student-led course and I am there to facilitate and help them through any problems.” The 15-member team presented their business plan to Board members. Walker Graham, LCMS 8th grader explained, “We started with a steel frame that came in a kit. It took us about six months to build the race car. We had to raise money to buy parts we needed, we had to use teamwork and work together, and we had to build our knowledge so we could make changes where they needed to be so our car could outlast the other cars in the race.” Smiling, he added, “We are very proud about what we have done in just one year. We can’t wait to see how well we do at our next race and into next year.”

schools to incorporate STEM principles into learning and to create a class that provided a rigorous and relevant curriculum that appealed to student’s personal interests. Horne and her teammates proudly displayed their winning vehicle in the lobby

championship a year ago and the team that created the GreenPower Tech curriculum. So how exactly is this class set up to where students can build a working car and race it in a middle school NASCARstyle environment? Matthew Graham,

Both LCMS Principal Chip Giles and Graham agree that the rigor of the curriculum and relevancy it provides for the students is what makes it an ideal course to pique student’s interest. They say it gives them knowledge in STEM-related areas they can take into high school and beyond.

The community is encouraged to come out and support the LCMS team as they participate in the Diverse Power Grand Prix on February 23 at LaGrange College. www.lagrangechamber.com

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Profile for LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce

Troup Trends - February 2019  

The February 2019 issue features Tripp Penn, the new President of the Callaway Foundation along with the latest business news from around th...

Troup Trends - February 2019  

The February 2019 issue features Tripp Penn, the new President of the Callaway Foundation along with the latest business news from around th...

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