Monday, June 4, 2012

An Amazing Story of High School Solar Car Racers

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task
 Haim G. Ginott

Boy has auto shop changed since I was in high school, it's now science class!

Meet Tom Stueve.  Tom is a friend and high school teacher in Bend Oregon. Tom Stueve, is a man with EV in his name and in his soul,  Tom is teaching, guiding and nourishing a team of young electric scientific minds in central Oregon as they create their second solar powered car, a carbon fiber solar electric racer Helio Centric II.   

Tom as most teachers are,  is always short of resources,  but what he does have is an undeniable spirit and drive the help kids learn, to stretch their imagination, creativity and scientific knowledge.  To succeed with a scarcity of resources, he is forming partnerships and cobbling together a very impressive solar race car effort with the help of  Oregon State University and corporate sponsors such as aircraft manufacture Lancair as well as from individual contributers.

I first came into contact with Tom when my sister Hanne, became the Principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Bend Oregon. The school consists of a preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school.   It should be no small surprise that this high school is on the leading edge of electric car and solar car development given the EV-PV passion of our family,  but the truth is that Tom has had this project well underway before our family became part of the picture.  The Helio Centric II team also includes other high school students from Central Oregon.

Those of us fortunate to be in the BMW Mini-E and ActiveE program are waiting to take delivery of the BMW i3, the result of all our trials, which will be constructed primarily from carbon fiber.    Tom’s students are making their very own carbon fiber car.   Many of us are powering our ActiveE's  from solar power from our roof tops. Tom’s students are making and laminating their own solar modules to be affixed to their racer.

These high school kids will be entering their Helio Centric II solar powered car in The Solar Car Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway  July 12th through the 19th.   The car is a remarkable accomplishment from a high school team and its carbon fiber construction perhaps unique among high school teams from across the nation.  

Here are ways you can help.

Make a small donation on kick starter to help them fund a documentary film of their project

Contact Tom and like their page,The HelioCentric II facebook page at

Thanks Tom and Trinity Lutheran School for teaching our children and preparing them for a very exciting electric future! We are indeed in good hands.

They could use a little help, so any corporate contacts or contributions are most welcome.
Almost make me want to go back to high school auto shop.   Almost...

Spouse of a BMW ActiveE Driver
51,000 Solar Powered EV miles.

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