Glen Ames School’s Robotics Team Plans To Bring Some Greased Lightning To Upcoming Competition – Metro Beach Community News

Members of the Glen Ames Senior Public School Robotics Team are Carson M, William S, Ian S, Oscar C, Drew E, Benjamin K, Eddie L Kendall F, Alyssa D, and Talilia M. Alan Shackleton.

Written by Alan Shackleton

The robotics team at Glen Ames Senior Public School is ready to bring some Greased Lightening to this year’s FIRST Lego League (FLL) competitions.

The 458, as the Glen Ames students are known, will compete in the FLL Regional Championship this week.

The theme for this year’s FLL competition is clean, renewable energy, and school robotics teams from around the world are taking on that challenge, including the Glen Ames team.

The challenge that the 458 team decided to take on was how to build a self-charging electric vehicle. Thus, with the film and musical Grease being praised, Greased Lightning was created.

The car charges itself through solar energy and a small wind turbine connected to the vehicle.

“The power you provide, energize,” the 458 team sang and said as they worked on the presentation they were to give about their project at the FLL qualifying tournament on Dec. 7 in Sutton.

Because both energy from the sun and wind is renewable and clean, the Glen Ames will eliminate dependence on fuel sources such as gasoline or having to constantly stop to recharge the battery from an electrical source.

“People are scared because of the range anxiety,” said Karsen M., a robotics student at Glen Ames, “One of people’s biggest fears about buying electric or battery-powered cars. Drivers worry about running out of power and being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way to recharge the vehicle.

“With the wind and the sun, you always charge up and you can go on your journey,” he explained.

So how does it work? The car contains small solar panels that can move around its surface following the sun during daylight hours to generate power. It will also have small turbines on the sides to collect wind energy.

It’s the positioning of the turbines laterally along the sides of the car, as opposed to the front or roof, that will help take advantage of the wind energy generated when the car is moving – so it’s constantly charging itself while in motion – and that’s what makes the system work.

“The loss of energy due to wind resistance would be a handicap,” said the 458 team.

In FLL competitions, teams are judged on a number of factors beyond just how well their bots work. One of those is how creative the teams are in their pitching of their idea, and Team 458 has a big show (and musical) planned with Greased Lightning.

“We all love the movie, but we’re never going to be able to do it quite the way we did when singing Greased Lightning,” Carsen admitted.

For that, they would need a full-size car and the ability to lower the engine from the roof. However, their unveiling promises to be entertaining.

Glen Ames 458 team members are Karsen M., Liam S., Ian S., Oscar C. Drew E., Benjamin K., Eddie L. Kendall V., Alyssa D., and Thailia M.

Along with the students’ creativity and robotics work, the 458 team is coached by instructor Luke Martin at Glen Ames.

The school’s robotics program has a long history of winning FLL competition and inspiring its students to pursue careers in engineering and other fields of science and technology.

One such former student is Ivan Neff, who was a member of the Glen Ames robotics team in 2012. He recently returned to his former public school to help out the 458 team with some 3D printing of their car. Neff is now the co-founder of a company called smartARM that uses 3D printing technology to create prosthetic arms.

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