Jac-Cen-Del High School talent showcased
SOURCE: Ripley Publishing Co.
f someone told me that there was a car in Ripley County that gets almost one hundred fifty Miles Per Gallon, I would be interested. Even if it was a one seater with a top speed of thirty miles per hour, you can count me in. What if I told you it was designed and built from scratch by Jac Cen Del students.......What?
That's exactly right. All of the above is true. Under the direction of Paul Thole and Gene Westerman, the Jac Cen Del Super Mileage team competed at O'Reilly Raceway in Indianapolis recently and came away after 60 flawless laps on the banked oval track with an average mileage that most only dream of.
The student led team brainstormed possible designs back in September and with generous funding through EcO15 and the Ripley County Community Foundation were able to build a new and innovative car from the ground up. "The Jac Cen Del community really came together to support this worthwhile learning experience," stated Johnny Budd, JCD Principal.
Staff and students left before sunrise on Monday to transport their "Jet Black Cadillac" to Indianapolis on a trailer provided by Travis Scudder of Solid Rock Construction. The senior members of the team had just returned from the senior trip and a 12 hour bus ride in time to load up and go again.
Leaning on advice and support from Roger Horan and Steve Marticke, the team was anxious to see how their design would stack up against other teams statewide. Thole tried to keep the young JCD engineers grounded by reminding them that there would be cars there that cost $20,000 more than theirs. Not to mention that in last minute testing here in Osgood a design flaw surfaced that almost caused a crisis.
It seems that the chain drive mechanism wouldn't work reliably due to the high torque developed by the Briggs and Stratton 3.5 horsepower engine. The team brainstormed and decided to create a belt drive system that they hoped would operate under those conditions. With the brainpower of eager students and their expertise in Computer Aided Drawing developed by the JCD Project Lead The Way Program, the potential solution was ready to go...........on paper.
But how do we get a new pulley system created, mounted, tested and operational in three days? The answer came by way of Jac Cen Del graduate Mike Effing of Double E Enterprises in Osgood. With very little time to solve this problem he offered all of his resources to help the aspiring young JCD auto designers and it paid off in a big way. The design was good, the production of the part flawless and the idea solved the chain drive problem perfectly.
The JCD team won a specialty award for "Best Integration of Math, Science and Technology." Receiving this prestigious award was especially satisfying for the team. "Winning this trophy over some schools that are ten times our size and who have almost unlimited resources is quite an accomplishment," said Gene Westerman, veteran JCD teacher and Supermileage co-sponsor.
"We couldn't be prouder of our students," commented Thole who also serves as the director of Jac Cen Del's award winning engineering program. "We are giving these students real life learning experiences that will stick with them forever," continued Thole.
Team members are Matt Billman, Alex Brison, Savannah Dunagan, Josh Gaither, Jared Hellmich, Codie Horan, Spencer Huffmeyer, Zach Kappes, Ashley Lohmiller, Codey Martin, Jon Siegert and Mitchell Workman.