High school students will race their electric- or solar-powered cars in the 14th annual High Plains Rally on Thursday, Sept. 27, at West Frontier Park, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is sponsored by the Fort Hays State University Department of Technology Studies, North Central Kansas Technical College, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Midwest Energy Inc. and Western Cooperative Electric Association.
Teams of students will race their cars on a quarter-mile course of twists and turns, with one hour to complete as many laps as they can. The car with the most laps wins. Trophies will be awarded to first and second place in the experimental and standard categories.
'"This year about 13 teams are expected to enter. Each team could have multiple cars and usually there is two or three students per pit crew per car," said Joseph Chretien, assistant professor of technology studies. NCKTC students will host the rally.
Registration begins at 7 a.m., and inspections of the cars begin at 8 a.m. The races will be run professionally with car inspections, and safety rules will be enforced all day.
The rally is coordinated by Chretien The race steward this year will be Kevin Vering, NCKTC instructor.
"The best part about the rally is watching the interaction between students, teams and their sponsors. These teams from the high schools could be a class or a club," said Chretien. "I hope the students learn to appreciate the correct use of energy and how to make a good car design that will last the race."
The rally is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided free for the teams and volunteers. For more information, contact Chretien at 785-628-4314 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.