Fall 2017
News Briefs

Madison High School Students 'Go Electric'

Madison High School Students 'Go Electric'

This fall, the MGE Foundation is teaming up with the James Madison Memorial High School Technical Education program to build an all-electric car. Memorial High School is one of about 20 high schools across Wisconsin competing in the Electrathon USA, a national electric vehicle (EV) competition for high school students. Miles Tokheim, Memorial High School Technology and Engineering instructor, and his tech-ed students will build two different EVs for the competition, each incorporating slightly different designs but within the strict parameters set by Electrathon USA.

As interest in EVs grows, programs like Electrathon USA help students gain first-hand experience with the design, fabrication, engineering and assembly of an EV. The last time MGE sponsored an Electrathon vehicle was in 2005 with Madison East High School. East's team competed against about 15 teams from throughout Wisconsin! Madison West High School and Barneveld High School also have competed in similar types of energy-efficient vehicle competitions in the past.

Electrathon USA is sponsored by the Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association (WEEVA), which promotes energy-efficient transportation technology education. To encourage teacher interest in Electrathon USA, WEEVA conducts annual teacher workshops, which give teachers the opportunity to build a car prior to working with their student teams. Teachers who participate in the workshops are generally more successful at building a car and participating in the final endurance competition. The competition portion is an endurance race to see how far the car can travel in one hour. All cars must have the required safety belt systems, be powered by 24-volt direct current motors and pass a rigorous inspection system before they can officially race.