From the Ridgefield Press

RHS students’ electric car cruises to third
By The Ridgefield Press
Saturday, 18 June 2011 06:14

With their home-built, battery-powered vehicle, Ridgefield High School’s electric car team cruised into third place in their division at the Connecticut Electrathon competition at Lime Rock Raceway Friday, June 3.

The team, coached by Ridgefield High School physics teacher, Wes Desantis, spent the last five months designing, fabricating, testing and modifying their vehicle with the help of Ridgefield High School materials science teacher, John Nessel.

The team’s task was to design and construct a battery-powered vehicle that could go the farthest distance in an hour long competition. More than 25 area high schools from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts participated in this alternative energy and engineering competition.

“It was an amazingly exciting race” said Ridgefield High School Principal Jeffrey Jaslow, who attended to cheer on the team.

“I was at the edge of my seat watching as the mechanical and electrical pit crews from our team had to jump in mid-way through the race to repair a problem with the throttle.”

Despite the lost time in the pit because of the throttle failure, Ridgefield High School managed to pull in a third place finish as the entire team rallied to get the car back on the track. Reaching speeds of over 30 mph, the car held together very well enduring both hard banked, downhill turns and uphill climbs that stressed the vehicle to its limits.

“This was the first year Ridgefield has entered the competition and the team work was great,” said Mr. Desantis. “Everyone is fired up and looking forward to building next year’s car — they have great ideas and design improvements to try.”