Cedar Rapids, IA Oct. 9, 2000 SolarQuest® iNet News Service
The Cougar electric company is all about teamwork, efficiency, and racing. We race our battery-powered cars all over the U.S.A. Our team is currently the Iowa-state Electric Car Champions having won the last 5 races we have competed in.
Cougar Electric Company is a class at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, IA. Our "company" is setup like a true life business with many different departments, each working together toward one common goal - to win electric car races, while learning as much as possible in the areas of advanced math, physics, chemistry, language arts, computer sciences, and manufacturing.
First is the mechanical department. They are now busy making 3D models of our current car designs to be used in wind tunnel tests. They are also making new car frame designs. They are also working on designing new cars to build for the upcoming year.
Next is the chemical department. Their job is to test and find the best batteries to run our car. Our chemical engineering team is currently looking, and testing different types of batteries that will fit under the new Electrathon America guidelines.
Next is the computer/electrical engineering team. Their job is to plan, build, program, and run the computer telemetry and radio communication systems that are in our cars. The computer/electrical team has meetings with Rockwell Engineers every Wednesday. The team is currently working on setting up new telemetry, and communication systems for the upcoming year. Right now we have 2 different computer systems in our 3 cars. Our #41 car has a live (to the driver) LCD display in the car, as well as a data recording capability that allows us to download a races data at the end of each heat, and analyze the data.
The #300 car has a live (to the pit crew) telemetry/communication system that allows the race data collected during a race to be transmitted back to our base station computer in our trailer. The 300 also has the capability to record data as a backup in case the live data transmission fails. The #200 car only has a VOLT meter and an AMP meter, but that is soon to change.
Another division of our computer team is the Website team. The head of the computer engineering team is also the webmaster for our site, and works with about 6 other students to teach them HTML code. The website team is currently in the process of building a new website to replace our school-based site. The new site's URL is http://cougarelectric.s5.com. Our goal is to have the site totally complete by mid-October.
The publicity and promotion team is one of the most important teams. We advertise our company and our sponsors to the public. One way of doing this is through the Internet. We make articles like the one you are reading to tell you what we are all about. The publicity team is also in charge of organizing shows/events that our team will attend to show our cars, as well as publishing our company newsletter. The promotional team is in charge of recruiting new sponsors that help to fund our company.
Next is the manufacturing department. They are in charge of building the parts of our cars including jigs, frames, etc. Their yearlong goal is to build six new frames.
The last team is facilities. They are in charge of keeping our shops in show condition, as well as making sure our trailer is in working condition. They are also in charge of making sure all tools are in the right place for a race. They are currently repairing the inside of the trailer, preparing equipment for the October races, and redesigning our Mobile Battery Center in the trailer.