Magazine article Techniques

Oklahoma Solar Car Team Races in Japan

Magazine article Techniques

Oklahoma Solar Car Team Races in Japan

Article excerpt

This summer, a team of high school students from Francis Tuttle's Project HOPE traveled to Japan from Oklahoma to race their solar car, Mirage, against more than 100 other solar cars in the World Solar Rallye. Only 59 cars even made it through the "scrutineering" (inspection), but one of them was Mirage.

Many of the Japanese cars had been built specifically to race on the track at Ogata-Mura. The team from Francis Tuttle only had a couple of days to get a feel for the track, but they were determined to achieve their goal of beating the track and finishing in the allotted time. On a cloudy, overcast day--not exactly ideal for racing cars that depend on the sun for their power--only 33 of the 59 qualifying cars were able to complete the race. The Project HOPE team finished their race, coming in 14th in the high school division.

The team also earned the Sunflower Award, given for the vehicle that achieved maximum efficiency from the sun's power and raced with the best team spirit. In recognition of their accomplishments, Governor Frank Keating proclaimed August 8, 2001, as Francis Turtle Solar Car Team Day in Oklahoma.

The alternative education students in the program come from six schools that comprise Project HOPE, a dropout recovery program. …

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