Columbus holds the Annual Greenpower Racing"Santa Sprints" for students around the country
Student-led STEM teams from across the country and the valley competed in a street race near the Riverwalk in downtown Columbus, Georgia last Saturday.
The teams that participated built hand-made electrically-powered cars, in which, through competitive selection, chose drivers who would drive the cars to victory in the Saturday race.
Daniel Roquan, the driver for Patriot racing, stated, "The driver selection process is really selective. A driver must know the basics of driving and have a genuine interest in racing or a STEM-related field of study."
Greenpower Racing, which was founded in the United Kingdom in 1999 to inspire students to pursue STEM-related majors at university, and introduce certain students to the competitive art of racing. Greenpower USA, headquartered in Alabama, has been holding races across the country for the past few years, offering valuable experience for teenagers and young children who are interested in engineering and racing.
The race in Columbus, Georgia, the 'Santa Sprints', held in December of every year, begins with qualifying, in which teams try to race around the circuit extremely fast, and the team with the fastest time gets to start the actual race in first place on the racing grid.
The team leader of Cougar Racing, Jordan Robertson acknowledged, "Qualifying is a rough part of the race day, and it is really competitive. Everyone wants to get dibs on first place, and drivers have to drive their cars to the absolute limit to gain their positions on the grid. It is actually very exciting, to be honest."
After qualifying, the race begins, and after around ten laps around the circuit, the team who wins the race has to present a Microsoft Word presentation to a group of judges. The judges then give the team their hard-earned trophy.
Upon receiving the trophy for winning the 'Santa Sprints', Roquan jubilantly announced,
"This is a really great achievement! I've been working with my team for the last few months preparing our car, testing it, and staying overnight at our garage just to make sure our car could pass the entry process. Kudos to my team, you guys are the best! We need to keep pushing for our next race in Oxford (Alabama)!"