During orientation, we advised new team members to explore every subteam to gain a general knowledge of different aspects of the team before diving into working in a specialized field. At the beginning of the year, new members were introduced to tasks on the team through a rotation of small group workshops led by returning team members. After these rotations and gaining familiarity with the car and shop, students have grown and become more integrated into the team on the Structural/Mechanical, Outreach/Finance, and Electrical subteams. As we near the end of the school year, it is exciting to look at the team and see how far our new members have come!
Greta Kim (9) using a riveting gun.
The Structural and Mechanical subteam is in charge of designing, building, and assembling all of the car’s mechanical components. This year, students have learned how to use various shop tools safely and have gained many valuable skills, such as welding. Executive team member, Teddie Blahous (12), gives shoutouts to new members Atticus Caudle (9) and Greta Kim (9), who have thrived in this subteam. He explains that “not only do they work really hard, but they are also very focused and inspired to learn. They spend a great amount of time in the shop, so I often get to work with them.” When describing her favorite part of this subteam, Greta explains, “I like being able to build different components of the car and seeing the car come together.“ We are proud of our new members and are excited to see how they continue to grow throughout their solar car experience.
The Outreach and Finance subteams are responsible for reaching out to personal and corporate sponsors for potential financing and coordinating with the community for outreach events. This year, Lily Andrews (9) joined the Finances subteam, where she tracks and manages the team’s money. Reflecting on this experience, she says, “I’ve grown significantly during my time so far in finances. I’ve learned how to write grants and track, plan, communicate about, and budget money. These skills are beneficial and will help me a lot in my adult life.”
Left to Right: Dylan Berger (11), Eric Nguyen (10), Lily Andrews (9), Opal Heltzel (11), and Timothy Jou (10), taking a selfie on the EL Camera
The Electrical subteam oversees the designing, soldering, and assembling of all of the car’s electrical components. New members who have positively impacted this subteam include Opal Heltzel (11), Kean Timblin (10), Kaley Hoang (10), and Lovie Sia (9). These new members have worked together to solder our car’s solar array, which is over 400 solar cells! Our solar panel lead, Opal Heltzel, regarding her team’s progress, states, “The solar panel team is composed of new members, and we have made a lot of progress in both making the solar array and integrating ourselves into the team.” Soldering the solar array has been a long and tedious task, so we are incredibly proud of our new members who were up to the challenge of learning to solder and build a new solar panel array.
Overall, we are incredibly proud of all of the team’s new members who joined us for the 2021-2022 season. Student progress has been inspiring. We are excited to see how our new members will continue to grow in the future and help teach the next generation of solar car enthusiasts.