Monday, July 27, 2009

Fast And Furious College Kids

Reported July 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Students from all over the country compete in a racecar competition engineered to test what they've learned. One amateur racing team could give any professional racer a run for their money.Click to watch video!

They're fast and they're furious. Powerful miniature Indy-style racecars are entirely built, tested and driven by very proud students.

"It's a lot of sleepless nights," Michael Palaszynski, an engineering student at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Md., told Ivanhoe. "It's a lot of hard work, but we're a team."

"Being able to drive something that you helped build, and spent so much time and money on yourself -- it's a really great feeling," Scott Mingay, a mechanical engineering student at Rutgers University in Washington, D.C., said.

At the season opener for the Society of Automotive Engineer's formula car competition, cars are judged on design, acceleration, handling and endurance. , Mark Sproul, a computer engineer and advisor at Rutgers University, put his students to the test.

"The competition is an engineering competition," Sproul explained. "It's not about who can build the fastest car. It's about how well do you know what you built."

Acceleration tests resemble drag races. Endurance tests require cars race for long distances, and a popular event called skid pad measures a car's cornering ability -- a hard test for drivers.
"You sit in the car, wear a hot suit on a hundred degree day, it's still fun," Palaszynksy said.
For some students, their racing efforts translate into jobs with recruiters from Honda and Toyota.

"What's unique about this car is that we have a complete wireless stat acquisition system," Mingay explained. "It sends all of our data wirelessly back to the pits to our computers."
This year, top teams were from Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois.

"I get to get off of school to go racing and I get school credit for it," Palaszynksy said.
He got extra credit for living life in the fast lane! Teams spend up to a year designing and building cars to conform to a set of rules. Although, there's room for a few added features of their own.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.-USA, and the American Association of Physics Teachers contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Nancy Lewis
Corporate Communications Manager
SAE International World Headquarters
Warrendale, PA 15096-0001
(412) 977-2894

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Pender McCarter IEEE

American Association of Physics TeachersCollege Park, MD
(301) 209-3311


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