Recycled Racers: Growing Future Engineers

The Mississippi State University (MSU) EcoCAR 3 team spent last week training, note taking, and seeing the sights of Austin, Texas at the Year One Winter Workshop. While software training and preparation for competition were focal points of the trip, there was a special time to reach out to students in the community at Decker Middle School.

Along with the other schools competing in the competition, MSU had the unique opportunity to encourage young students to consider how they can make an impact on society and the environment by being eco-friendly and working hard in school. The students learned what EcoCAR 3 is all about and the importance of creating a more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle. After learning about the EcoCAR 3 competition… It was time for the students to compete!

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Recycled Racers is the name of the competition, and each group of students had a limited amount of time to create a racer out of recycled materials. There were unique designs across the board. Some focused on style, others on fuel efficiency, and even safety. Each team nominated a spokesperson to explain the design of their racer, and creativity flowed abundantly from these 7th graders!

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Some cars were hydrogen fueled, others diesel, and one was even “powered by chocolate!” Though making recycled racers was a fun activity for these students to work together to piece pipe cleaners, CDs, and bottles together to make a homemade toy, students embraced the experience and recognized the impact they could have on the world by considering becoming a real engineer.

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The future is looking bright with the help of these young, future engineers!