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Kehoe Grand Prix

Five teams of students enrolled in the College-NOW engineering Academy put their capstone projects on the road this morning at the Kehoe Center in Shelby – literally – competing in the Kehoe Grand Prix.

Each team has been building an electric vehicle throughout the year. They began by researching and designing the types of vehicles they might want to build, including frame, steering, braking, gearing, power and drive options – and the optimal combination to provide the best overall performance and energy efficiency.

The Kehoe Grand Prix was designed as an endurance race with a one-hour time limit. Each team’s vehicle, driven by team members, navigated a five turn circuit laid out in the parking lot at the Kehoe Center. The team completing the most laps in 60 minutes was the Mario Cart team of Caleb Butler, Noah Blum, Spencer Welch and Mayalana Wilson. They completed 6X laps in their vehicle.

“It’s been a great experience,” Welch says.  “Even if you don’t go into engineering, which a lot of us are doing, this program has prepared us for this task.  It’s 100% worth it.”

Four of the five vehicles finished the entire hour of racing. The fifth was sidelined early with a mechanical failure.

Dr. Dorey Diab, president of North Central State College was present for the event, “This is a terrific example of what we do here at NC State. These students, who are all still in high school, combined their study of numerous engineering concepts to build vehicles powered by batteries that just ran for more than an hour. This is a great moment for them as they complete their education in College-NOW. I look forward to handing them their college diploma next month from NC State, even before they graduate with their high school diploma.”