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STEM Proves a Driving Force in Detrtoit

Emily Regner, Staff Writer

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Teens from all around the U.S and other countries participate in the STEM program, like the one here at Wheat Ridge High School.

The STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) program at Wheat Ridge built a car this year to race with other groups in Detroit, Michigan for a contest called the Shell Eco Marathon.
At Wheat Ridge High School, Charles Sprague teaches students how to design these vehicles in his first, second, third and fifth period classes. In STEM, the first semester is mostly about designing the car. Then, the second semester is for building the cars. It is a standard elective class that anyone could take. Sprague has about 70 kids in STEM and about 12 in STEAM (Science Technology Art and Math) that are also in STEM this year. The people who do join get an elective and an engineering credit, which would look impressive on college applications.
The team has the contest mostly to go against other colleges and high schools, including some schools from Asian and European countries as well. They win by racing their car, and in the 2017 contest Wheat Ridge took first place.
The program is designed to construct vehicles in all cases, to race. In the program, they were designing a hydrogen fuel cell car, which runs entirely on hydrogen, a fuel source that is not so widely used. This year, there were only six contestants in this category, giving Wheat Ridge a 16.67% chance of winning.
A junior in the STEM program, Jacqueline Pedlow, one of the drivers of the car, gave us insight on what it was like once they landed in Detroit. In a recent interview she said, “The experience was really fun. We got there on Wednesday. Wednesday and Thursday we checked in and went through technical inspection. Technical inspection is very intense and very stressful. We have to make sure our car is safe enough to be on the track.”
The team had to go through a process to prepare for the race. During the race Pedlow actually crashed the car, but still managed to win. It was another win for the program.
Combining math, science, technology, and engineering is a great way to solve problems. It is an advancement to higher involvement to these kinds of academics. STEM is a great program for teens to start making wise decisions for their community and applying information to real world issues.

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The student news site of Wheat Ridge High School
STEM Proves a Driving Force in Detrtoit