Kelsey Andrews of Harvard describes riding in her club’s custom-built electric car as a cross between a roller coaster ride and scooting through an enclosed playground tube.
“It’s a little bit crammed,” she said. “But that’s how you get good speed.”
Elbows tucked in, hands affixed to steering handles and heads encased in helmets, Andrews and several dozen other high school students experienced these coaster-like sensations at a Power Drive electric car rally at Motorsport Park Hastings Saturday.
The Power Drive program, sponsored by Omaha Public Power and Nebraska Public Power District, challenges high school teams to design, build and engineer battery-powered cars according to a series of strict safety and modeling specifications. Then, the high schoolers convene at rallies to drive the cars as far and as fast as they can in one-hour time segments.
The high school participants are challenged to exercise their skills and knowledge about cars and electricity in a fun, competitive environment.