By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
June 7, 2006
Hood River Valley High School senior Kevin Dye spins carefree cookies in the grass. His silent, low-riding Electrathon vehicle is powered by two standard car batteries. It is lightweight, highly efficient and silent, which is important because HRVHS teacher Jeff Blackman has already told Kevin, “No spinning cookies in the grass.”
Fortunately, the car’s bicycle wheels leave no evidence of such spinning, and Dye makes a clean getaway to the applied engineering classroom in the high school’s metal shop.
After a year of designing, building and racing their cars, students in the HRVHS applied engineering class are hanging up their helmets for the summer and contemplating new designs for next year.
Dye’s design worked out well and proved to be one of the lightest vehicles in the state. After six Electrathon races, against other high school classes from around Oregon, Dye finished in second place overall in the state. Classmate Kory Castro finished sixth overall in the state series, the duo of Chase Drum and Scott Bross finished 11th and Jeff Emmer finished 32nd out of a field of 47 total riders.
“The class was a lot of fun,” Dye said. “I learned a lot about how electricity and wiring works and how to make things work. The class is great because it helps students showcase what they can do with their skills.”
“The biggest challenge was visualizing the end product,” Castro said. “It was hard to see the cars from the beginning to what they are now … We all want to thank all the businesses who donated money and parts. We’re really thankful. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without them.”
The following businesses helped with sponsorship:
Paddocks, State Farm Insurance, Dye Trucking, Dodge of The Dalles, Don Nunamaker, SignMedia, Cloud Cap, Mountain View Cycles, Mid Columbia Marine and Motorsports, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, Cascade Hearing Center, NAPA Auto Parts, E&L Auto Parts, Schlosser’s Steel.