The Blue Ridge Solar Go Kart Team is in the Tucson Challenge | innovative Latest news

PINETOP-LAKESIDE – The Blue Ridge Physics and Engineering Club solar go-karting team brought home some formidable awards from a competition in Tucson last month.

The Blue Ridge team received one of the two top awards of the race, the Sun Solar Go Kart Challenge, including the coveted innovation award, at the April 24 race at the Muscleman Honda near the Pima County Fairgrounds.

Innovation awards are given to teams who impress the jury by designing a go-kart that is safe, functional and more innovative than anything seen in the competition before.

The team developed the first transmission to be used in a solar go-kart in the 10-year history of the competition. The team developed a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that enabled a gear ratio of 120: 1 to 15: 1. This allowed the go-kart to maximize sunlight and engine power.

In addition to winning the innovation prize, the team took second place in the challenge of solar efficiency for the maker class. The winners of the efficiency race were the teams in each class that made the most efficient use of their power consumption versus power output.

This challenge is designed to test a team’s ability to maximize solar powered systems efficiency and go-kart performance.

Since the Blue Ridge-UA, 4-H Fab Lab was founded a little over three years ago, its teams have received the following national, international, and state STEM awards.

The Fab Lab is a joint resource from Blue Ridge High School, the University of Arizona, and the Navajo County Cooperative Extension Program.

The BR-UA 4-H Fab Lab is the first and only public school fab lab in Arizona and one of the most comprehensive school-based makerspaces in the state. The Fab Lab is a 7,500-square-foot facility that offers a wide variety of digital manufacturing equipment and machinery, including: 15 3D printers, 4 x 8 foot Laguna Swift CNC routers, two Epilog lasers, and high-precision Roland MDX -Tabletops CNC, eight rework stations for electronics and soldering, electronics testing equipment including function generator and oscilloscope, Roland VersaCamm vinyl printing and cutting, Roland LEF12 UV flatbed printer, Roland GS24 vinyl cutter, Brother Embroidery Digital Sewing Machine, Wazer Water Jet metal cutter, Miller MIG, Miller WIG , 36-inch Bailiegh bead roll, 36-inch Bailiegh english wheel, 30-inch Bailiegh shear / break / roll bender and two vacuum forming tables. The Fab Lab also has a full collection of power and hand tools for making metal, wood, plastic, and many other materials.

In addition to the normally scheduled courses, including digital manufacturing and conceptual physics and engineering, the after school programs and clubs offered as part of the 4-H STEM programs at the Fab Lab for HS students include the NASA rover team of the physics and engineering club Solar Go-Kart Team and CubeSat Team. Teams include: The JH 4-H Physics and Engineering Team Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM; Rocket Science and all RC things where students learn aeronautical engineering concepts by designing, building and flying homemade RC airplanes, as well as digital photography / printing where students learn to create and print digital images.

As part of the summer programs, the 4-H in the Fab Lab offers a range of gardening and nutrition programs for primary school students. 4-H clubs across the state have used the Fab Lab to create projects and awards for events.

High School Physics and Engineering Club Awards

• Winner of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2019 with the “Drive Train Technology Challenge Award”. There were over 100 high schools and universities from 26 different countries.

• Winner of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge 2020 “STEM Engagement”. The Blue Ridge team was also selected as the top team (top 3) in both the Drive Train Technology Task and the 3D Printed Tool Task Challenge for this year’s competition. This year’s challenge consisted of over 112 high school, college and university teams from over 11 countries.

• 2021 SARSEF Race the Sun, winner of the innovation award and second place in the solar efficiency challenge for the maker class.

• The 2020 Blue Ridge JH 4-H Physics and Engineering Club was one of the top 20 national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge 2020. BR was selected as the top 20 team from over 2,200 middle and high school teams.

Blue Ridge’s top 20 result earned him over $ 63,000 in new technology and equipment for his STEM program.

• The 2021 Blue Ridge JH 4-H Physics and Engineering Club was named Top 100 in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Challenge 2021.

As part of the COVID-19 response, students from the Physics and Engineering Club volunteered for the creation and donation of over 1,000 face shields, more than 500 desk signs, more than 2,000 ear protectors, and five optometric respiratory protection shields. In conjunction with the CTE Robotics program, the clubs designed and printed over 30 manifolds, 62 swivel adapters, and prototyped the CPAP to ventilator switch, a ventilator check valve, and several different 3D printed PEEP valves.

All of these 3D printed ventilator parts were requested and created for the University of Arizona Medical Center, Banner Phoenix Pulmonary Group.

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