The EV Team was Mentioned in The Daily Herald!

The SVGS EV team was mentioned in The Daily Herald, a newspaper serving the Roanoke Valley and Lake Gaston area of North Carolina, for being part of the Herald Miller Invitational (to read more about the HMI, read our main post: The article was a print exclusive so it has been transcribed below:

Northampton, Virginia students put car work to test

Article by Brian Clark,

GARYSBURG – It was clear Thursday Roanoke Rapids Graded School District Interim Superintendent John Parker was impressed standing outside the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research.

The Garysburg facility played host to high school students from three North Carolina schools and one from Virginia as part of an electric vehicle, or EV, competition.

Students from Northampton County High School, as well as from West Wilkes High School in Ronda; Topsail High School; and Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School in Fishersville, Va., came together for a friendly competition.

Parker praised the efforts of the students and their teachers, noting he’s appreciative of ways of learning that go beyond the classroom.

“We need to bring out students’ intellect and abilities in ways other than bubbling in a multiple-choice answer sheet,” Parker said.

The impromptu gathering came together after a previously scheduled competition in Raleigh was postponed until later this fall, leaving seniors who had been working on these cars for the entire school year with no outlet to share their hard work. Chris Tolbert, EV club organizer for West Wilkes High School, approached NCCAR about using the facility for the gathering.

NCCAR Operations Manager Sam True wasn’t able to arrange a weekend event, but secured time for the kids to put their cars through their paces Thursday and today.

“In general, it’s a lot of fun,” True said. “They’re (the kids) smart, they like to be challenged. It’s one of my favorite programs and it’s something I’ve been doing for six years. I just enjoy it.”

The kids in attendance were eager to show off their work. A group of students from Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School had the oldest car at the event: A 1970 Datsun 240Z. The car had been gutted of its engine and other components necessary for a gasoline engine and rebuilt by students over several years as part of EV club projects, according to Eric Munro, one of the students from Virginia.

The group had recently added additional batteries to their car in hopes of giving it greater speed and range. Thursday was their first outing with the new modifications.

“We’re hoping the increase in power outweighs the additional weight,” said Munro.

In addition to Parker and Davis, the event brought Doug Miller, executive director of Auxiliary Services for Northampton County Schools, who came by to speak with the students.

Also there for the day was Harold Miller, a retired teacher from Northampton High School. He was one of the first organizers of an electric car program in the Roanoke Valley before his retirement in 1999.

All four were in agreement programs such as EV clubs are an invaluable tool when it comes to education children. In EV clubs, students are often left to direct the course of their work and then carry out their plans for the vehicles. They are further learning by being hands-on with their work instead of studying theory from a textbook, they noted.

“Anytime you can get a kid to use their hands and not sit there at a desk working, they’re going to learn it,” RRGSD Director of Student Services Tom Davis said.