Area High Schools to Compete in Mileage Race

Three area high schools are set to participate in the 18th Annual Indiana Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education Alliance (IMSTEA) Super Mileage Challenge at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis on Monday.

Forest Park, Jasper, and Southridge High Schools all will be fielding cars in the IMSTEA Super Mileage Challenge, as three of 26 high schools across the state to have at least one car in the event, which is a race to see who can get the most mileage on fuel. There will be a total of 39 cars entered in the event across the 26 schools. Rose-Hulman Institute will also run its Shell Eco-Marathon Car for demonstration purposes only.

The event features four classes of competition: stock, “J” stock, unlimited, and exhibition. Cars in the unlimited class typically fare the best in the event, averaging over 1,000 miles per gallon. The field this year is seeking to crack the 1,500 miles per gallon barrier in this year’s contest.

Students build their own cars with supervision from a faculty member. Students are responsible for the design and construction of the car and for raising the necessary funds for the project. Engines are provided by Briggs and Stratton Corporation, but all other items have to be purchased by the team or donated by sponsors. The event is sponsored by Vincennes University, Lucas Oil Raceway Park, Purdue University School of Technology Education, Ball State University School of Technology, Greg Steele, and Jim Thompson.

To be eligible for the event, each school must submit a detailed technical proposal that covers all aspects of design and construction of the car. Aspects include aerodynamic drag, friction forces, braking forces, and cornering forces and these must be covered in detail in the proposal.

Event officials say what students learn from this event may help to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles in the future.