green|spaces annual event, the Green Prix, transforms the UTC Sports Complex next to Engel Stadium on May 6th and 7th into a fully functional racetrack. Look twice – the race cars and drivers may surprise you!
Sponsored by EPB, the event features 35 teams of Hamilton County students, ages 9 to 18, racing EVs (electric vehicles) that they designed and built themselves.
This hands-on STEM program depends on the help of teachers and parent coaches. Still, it is the students’ responsibility to design, build, and test their EVs. As a result, students finish the program with a foundational understanding of electrical wiring and mechanics.
“The Green Prix is not only a fun event, it’s also a key component of our regional workforce development needs,” said Michael Walton, Executive Director at green|spaces. “Students can graduate with eight years of hands-on experience in one of the best paying and most rapidly growing industries in the world.”
“EPB is proud to sponsor the Green Prix as part of our continuing effort to raise awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles as the automotive industry accelerates the shift to EVs,” said EPB’s Ken Jones who serves as the outgoing green|spaces Board Chair. “EVs offer many benefits for our community as a whole. Electric vehicle adoption supports local jobs and economic development in addition to the environmental benefits.”
Additionally, students leave the program with sharpened communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Coach Kaitlyn Rhoden of the Lookout Valley Elementary School agrees, “The best part about coaching is watching the kids learn to build, drive, and complete presentations as a team. The excitement on race day is my favorite part but most importantly, watching the students support each other is amazing.”
In 2017, green|spaces worked with eight local elementary, middle, and high schools for students to design and construct GreenPower USA electric power race cars. Now in more than 40 schools across the area, Green Prix blends STEM education with real-world problem solving and future workforce readiness in a wide range of applicable careers.
Come out and cheer on the teams on May 6th and 7th at the UTC Sports Complex (500 O’Neal Street). The Green Prix is open to the public and free to attend. Parking is at the UT Erlanger Family Practice lot. Qualifying races begin at 1:50 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Visit www.greenspaceschattanooga.org/chattanooga-green-prix to find out more. To watch footage from the fall race, visit: https://bit.ly/GreenPrixFall
In addition to EPB, The Lyndhurst Foundation, The Fullgraf Foundation, Gestamp, Novonix, Chattanooga Breakfast Rotary, Greater Chattanooga Robotics (TN Valley), Chattanooga Sports, Rockridge Venture Law, the University of Chattanooga Tennessee, and Harbor Freight help make the Green Prix a success. Additionally, the event could not happen without the year-long direction and guidance of the local Chattanooga Region Sports Car Club of America.
Volunteers are still needed to help at the event. To volunteer, visit https://bit.ly/VolunteerGreenPrix. To learn more about sponsoring future races, email Tj Tate at [email protected].