The Eco Car club has started back up for another season of environmentally-friendly vehicle building this fall.
Last year, the Saint Paul’s team, lead by team moderators John Carambat and Mark Richards, made it to Houston, Texas, for the national competition hosted by the Shell Oil Company. They competed in the categories for electric, biodiesel, and gasoline cars. The team won $1,000 for the program for their efforts and plan to perform even better this year.
“Every year, students compete to get the highest miles per gallon in their category. You can make either ‘prototypes’ or ‘urban concepts,’ and last year we made two of each. The cars last year took about seven months to assemble, and in April we went to Houston. There are several categories in the competition, such as electric, diesel, biodiesel, and gasoline,” said John Carambat, moderator of the club. He also noted that students learn how to weld, how to do electrical work, and mechanics from working with the vehicles.
The team also has big aspirations for the competition this year. “We’re going to refine our old cars and learn from our mistakes last year. After seeing the competition from other schools, we want to not only win the highest miles per hour award, but we want to have the coolest looking cars as well. Last year one of the cars we made was a replica of MacGyver’s truck, and this year we plan to do a DeLorean from ‘Back to the Future,’” Carambat said.
Despite the extensive technical knowledge needed to create a new car, much less a very environmentally-friendly one, Carambat stresses that the club has a place for new members along with Eco Car veterans. One member said, “It’s really fun to do after school. I didn’t know much about what goes into making a car tick, but we’ve been learning by building our new ones.”
The club meets after school on Wednesdays and on Sundays in room 201 in the main school building or in the car garage by the tennis courts. The club has different times week-to-week, and schedules can be seen on the Eco Car club’s Facebook page. Students interested in joining should talk to either John Carambat or Mark Richards.