• Jun 25th 2010 at 2:56PM
  • 5
EVX Focus– Click above for high-res image gallery

Justin Clarke will start his senior year of high school this fall. Before then, though, he and the 20 or so other student members of the West Philly Hybrid X/EVX Team (along with seven instructors) are participating in the Automotive X-Prize Knockout Stage in Brooklyn, MI this week and have a message to the other teams: "we're confident." And well they should be; they've outlasted a lot of teams that were backed by more money, more age and more experience. Clarke told AutoblogGreen that even if his team doesn't win, "I can take away that we beat out teams that we didn't think we'd beat."

We've been following the story of the kinds on the high-school team from the West Philadelphia High School Academy for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering since their appearance on the stage with their K-1 Attack kit car back in 2008. A lot has changed since then – the team is now running a modified Ford Focus in the event, for example, and Clarke wasn't even on the team back then – but their enthusiasm remains.

With support from ExxonMobil and others, the West Philly team passed the inspection during the Knockout Stage and is waiting to hear about the rest of the trial results. Whether or not they win, the students have been inspired by the competition. Clarke said getting to ride around on Zap Zappy scooters at the Michigan International Speedway made a lot of the kids want to build their own. Another project that the team is considering once the X-Prize wraps up: making an all-electric Formula 1 car. As for the EVX Focus, Clarke said they'd like to build more units and get them entered into the non-profit Philly Car Share program. With these kids, the ideas never stop coming.


Photos by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's great to see motivated students put their innovative ideas into action. This is how future life-changing ideas come about. Perhaps they can also motivate others to do the same. Good luck!

      Clay Boggess
      • 5 Years Ago
      Never underestimate the power of motivated high school kids. I just wish the other 90% of unmotivated high school students would learn a thing or two from this group.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Jason, This is the perfect contrast to normal high school that prove's that if you really challenge students, and give them the opportunity to experience something that grabs their attention, you can have students exceeding the expectations of college students, or even experienced professionals.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Many more high schools can have a more affordable robotics team. Many of these students are learning the same skills that are being sough in the Green-Technology sector today. Check out http://www.usfirst.org/ for more info and ways to get involved. You don't have to have a student to help one. A lot of teams like this and the Robotics teams rely on volunteer Mentors to make a difference.

      Good Luck to these students, their instructors and the parents & others that support them!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It was great to have the West Philly team there at MIS for the X-Prize. This car is no longer in the contest, though, IIANM.

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