Ivy Tech and Castle South Middle School students participate in evGrand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The weeks leading up to the Indy 500 are always an exciting time. This year was particularly exciting for several Castle South Middle School eighth-graders who worked closely alongside Ivy Tech instructors and students to build electric go-karts for the evGrand Prix. This experience is made possible each year through a partnership Ivy Tech has with the Evansville middle school.

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The evGrand Prix is a competitive electric go-kart race that high school and college students drive in. While the eighth graders do not drive the cars themselves, they play a pivotal role in the design and production of the karts—making for the perfect STEM learning experience!

For this year’s event, Castle South students worked closely with Ivy Tech instructors and students through each step of the process. From using 3D printers to fabrication, they are in control of the making of the car.

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In addition, Castle South students also were responsible for going out to get their own sponsors, allowing them to get all sides of the racing experience.

This year, races were held May 15-16 in the infield at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Five Ivy Tech Design Technology students drove the cars and the eighth graders were on-site for the races. They handled various responsibilities including pit crew and troubleshooting.

The evGrand Prix has four categories they compete in, with the goal to win the championship trophy. Drivers from Purdue, Bowling Green, Virginia Tech, Kennesaw, Northwest State and Ivy Tech participated in 2018’s event. For a full list of drivers and event stats, review the 2018 evGrand Prix Collegiate Results.

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In addition to the evGrand Prix, Ivy Tech also hosted an event for all grade school and high school students at the IMS. They were able to explore different programs such as Industrial Technology, Advanced Automation and Robotics, and Design Technology. From exploring welding simulations to being able to see 3D printers up close in action, and battling robots, this hands-on experience was great to give these students ideas for their future.

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