Topsail HS students win electric car competition again

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — The Topsail High School Electric Vehicle Team won first place in the electric vehicle challenge for the 10th year in a row. The competition is between schools nationwide.

The Topsail students convert conventional cars to operate on electricity.

This year the school’s Electric Vehicle Team entered two cars in the Electric Vehicle Challenge: a 1991 Toyota MR2, which won first place, and a 2001 Ford Ranger Edge that came in second.

One student says the competition was an amazing experience to see the future of this industry.

“It’s just really cool to see all of these people that have built these amazing machines that work so well, and it’s the future; the future of the automotive industry,” Dillon Herring said.

Students raised about $1,600 to put into the car to make it work.

Teacher Stephen Jeffcoat says there is no other opportunity like this and they learn lifelong skills from this class.

“There really isn’t any other program like this, I don’t think,” Jeffcoat said. “The students are pushed in so many ways, and it involves so many skills, and they really come out better people as a result of this program.”

Student Matt Vanderwall says a big lesson is time management.

“Scheduling and being organized in general. There’s a lot of skills that we learn here that can be put forward in anything else in life,” he said.

Students were not only tested on their driving of the electric vehicle but their knowledge, too.

“Speech, like oratorical parts of the competition, and we have Jeopardy testing the knowledge of our students, and also troubleshooting to test our skills dealing with electrical and mechanical systems,” David Ruddell said.

Jeffcoat says the Electric Vehicle class will help students in their careers. He says it is a foot in the door for students who want to work in science, technology or engineering.

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