Students win big with help from HPE

Students from a North Carolina high school beat out several teams of college students in the 10th annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas. The students worked with Honda Power Equipment in North Carolina (HPE). HPE provided the engines for the cars that were built and used in the competition.

The student teams from Dudley High School, in Greensboro, North Carolina, received several top awards in the Urban Concept Class, which focuses on more practical fuel-efficient designs. These students competed against more than 1,000 students from a record 124 teams representing seven countries: Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. All teams competed over three days and all university and high school students compete together.

Dudley High School has been attending this competition for the past five years. While on their way to the 2015 challenge, the team “Let’s Do It Again” stopped by the Marysville Auto Plant and the museum in the Honda Heritage Center. The group took a photo next to the Honda lawn mower made at North Carolina-based HPE.

The focus of the competition is to design and build the world’s most fuel efficient vehicle and it allows high school and college students the opportunity to solve global problems surrounding energy consumption. These engineering students gain hands-on experience while designing sustainable and efficient vehicles. Student teams focus on aerodynamics, engine efficiency and weight reductions as key factors in their designs. When the competition started in 1939, teams struggled to reach 50 mpg, but that target is long gone.

“Some students decided not to drop out, because they found something they could excel in,” explains Lewis. “Many gained self-confidence that leads them to change future plans,” said Ricky Lewis, team coach and mentor. “We have had students find that they can achieve a lot more than they ever thought.”

Team “Let’s Do It Again 2” walked away with 1st place in Urban Concept Alternative Fuel for their car that reached 107.7 mpg. The high schools other team, “Let’s Do It Again 1”, earned 3rd place in Urban Concept Alternative Fuel for their car that reached 78 mpg. HPE provided the engines for both vehicles.

HPE, located 25 miles east of Dudley High School, began donating engines to the team in2014. In 2015, they donated 12 Honda Power Equipment engines.

The high school teams were also awarded the Spirit of the Event Award that was shared with a team from Troy, Mich. The two schools were given this award for cultivating a friendship built on respect and the desire to collaborate. Two students from Dudley High School, Addie Randall and Justin Williams, also won a $500 Shell Gift Card in a drawing.

“We support activities such as the Shell Eco-Marathon with an eye on growing the ranks of young engineers who will take what they have learned and one day apply that knowledge to current and future power,” said Mike Rickey, senior manager, Honda Engines Group in AHM’s Power Equipment Division.

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