Students compete at Grand Prix Track

ENGINEERING: Students from the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District Career Center Innovative Engineering program stand with their Innovative Vehicle Design electric car. (Courtesy photo)

ENGINEERING: Students from the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District Career Center Innovative Engineering program stand with their Innovative Vehicle Design electric car. (Courtesy photo)

Submitted by MOISD Career Center

BIG RAPIDS — This years Innovative Vehicle Design team at the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District Career Center had some tricks up their sleeve, which proved to be effective.

The 2015 Innovative Vehicle Design Mecosta Osceola Career Center Team competed against 18 other schools from around the state at the Chevrolet Grand Prix Track at Belle Isle State Park in Detroit on May 23.

The team competed in the Full Scale Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge, which required their vehicle to have a unique component that sets it apart from other competitors. The team modified an electric vehicle completely created by students to use in this year’s competition.

This year’s team dominated the Grand Prix track, outdistancing the next closest team by more than a mile.

The team’s driver, Bryan Closson, held back for the first 20 minutes of the event, but spared no wattage during the last 40 minutes on the track.

Seniors Jake Hutchinson, Chris Routheaux, Chester Essner, Zac Cox and Joshua Leonard led the pit crew through a couple of repairs during the heats and helped bring home the first-place trophy.

Team “21-T” — that’s military code for Technical Engineer — presented their innovation to the SquareOne Board. The innovation consisted of a Raspberry Pi microcomputer programmed to recognize the driver’s face to start the vehicle. If a non-programmed face is behind the wheel, the car will not start. The judges were surprised and thrilled to see the theft prevention system work.

This innovation was headed up by first-year junior, Zac Cousineau. The team gave a special thanks to Mike Schonert from the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District IT department for his assistance.

The Info-Tainment piece introduced the Fantsma OWL (On Wheel Lighting). This was spearheaded by junior Beth Moyer from Evart.

The OWL was programmed to display different designs and SquareOne Network sponsors’ logos as they passed by mounted magnets on the brakes.

The OWL is not only for entertainment. With communication to the vehicle’s onboard computer and traction control systems, the OWL could display pre-programmed messages to alert other drivers of road conditions waiting ahead. Also, vehicle to infrastructure communications signals could be communicated to the OWL units and warn drivers of oncoming construction and traffic delays.

The team won the second place trophy for Engineering and Craftsmanship and brought home the biggest award available, the SquareOne Network Award. This award was given to the team with the highest score in competition, presentation, ambassadorship, teamwork and stewardship.

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Posted by Katlyn Vuillemot

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