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Somers Students Build Powerfully Green Car

“011” made its way up to Lakeville, Connecticut last Friday, in the loving care of six members of the Somers High School Green Power Club.

“011” is the electric car the club built and the six students were on their way to compete in the Lime Rock Challenge Race, an electric car marathon sponsored by Electrathon America.

The car was assembled mainly from used parts and the biggest expense was the battery. Technology teacher Mike Fry and physics teacher Dames Boire started the club about four years ago at the request of students intrigued by the Electrathon concept.

With the help of a grant from the Somers Education Foundation , they were able to build their second car this year.

“We meet at least once or twice a week after school,” said Fry. “During fabrication we often met every day.”

Senior twins Frankie and Kaila Letteri took turns racing “011.” The four other students were the pit crew. The challenge was to see how many laps could be made around a quarter-mile track in a hour. Traveling about 30 miles per hour, “011” ran down after twenty minutes. The team came in 10th place.

“Batteries don’t last forever and we are using the same ones we started with three years ago We would love to have some businesses help support the club,” Fry said. “It’s not just about [building the car and] competing. It’s about everything that goes into making a product, including raising the funds. It’s all part of the commitment.”

Fry’s long-term goal is to produce more science, technology, engineering and mathematics students.

“You can learn a lot from texts,” he said, “but you need to be able to apply the knowledge. The word, technology, has become synonymous with computers and Microsoft -- but really it is a world made by humans.”

Next year the Green Power Club plans to try its skills at building a solar-powered car. And they hope to have a few more girls on the team.

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