Illinois Students Build, Race High-Mileage Vehicles

Teams from James B. Conant High School and Rolling Meadows High School enjoyed a VIP experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after winning their own race in the Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition last month in Joliet.

Students from 15 Illinois schools participated in the third annual competition, giving them an opportunity to put their STEM lessons into practice. As part of the competition, students design, build and drive a small one-person vehicle with a focus on gasoline mileage or electrical energy efficiency. 

Instead of racing for speed, they are competing for maximum distance on a single gallon of fuel or a one-hour battery charge. Winning teams in the Supermileage category, won by the team from James B. Conant High School, routinely surpass 500 miles per gallon. In the Electrathon category, won by Rolling Meadows High School, veteran teams reach up to 30 miles on a single charge.  

The excursion to Indianapolis was sponsored by BIG KAISER, a technical sponsor for Andretti Autosport in the Verizon Indycar Series. The day started at the Andretti Autosport race shop, followed by a guided tour at the IMS Museum, and then lunch in a private suite at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the final practice rounds of the 2019 Indianapolis 500. 

BIG KAISER, a worldwide leader in high precision tooling systems for metalworking industries, is a strong supporter of manufacturing education and workforce development. The company sponsored the Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition in 2017 and 2018. Programs like the Illinois Energy Efficient Vehicle Competition are designed to promote manufacturing education and technology-related careers to high school students. Learn more about the program at www.ieevc.org.