• 30°

Career Tech’s electrathon team makes us proud

When one of our sports teams does well in Chambers County it’s something that will get lots of deserved publicity. If one of these teams wins a championship, it gets news coverage, not just in the local area but around the region and state. It makes the sports report on all the TV stations and is sure to be on the front page of the VT-N. Such is the reward of making it to the top.

When football, basketball, baseball and track teams do well in state competition, the coaches and players for those teams deserve the highest acc0lades. But those aren’t the only sporting activities in the local area deserving of praise. We have some dedicated young students in the area who are really good at racing electric cars at green power events.

Chambers County is really fortunate to have Seth Stehouwer at the Career Technical Center. He came this way via Vermont and Auburn University. He’s built something special with Piedmont Motorsports. The kids drawn to it love what they do, and they are getting some very good instruction in science, technology, engineering and math, something popularized at STEM.

Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge is a fan of the program.

“It’s just like NASCAR but with electric cars,” she said at a recent meeting of the Chambers County Board of Education. She said she’d been most impressed by watching the way the students worked together at a recent competition. It didn’t hurt that they finished first in a  field that included school districts much bigger than Chambers County.

Our Piedmont teams do well not only in state competition but also in some of the toughest competitions in the country. Next week they will represent the state of Alabama in an elite international meet in Troy, N.Y. It’s known as the Ten80 National STEM League Finals. This will mark five straight years Chambers County has had a team in the national finals. That’s something we should all be proud of.

The guys who have been involved in this have done lots of traveling over the past five years. Since they’re so good at it, why not have a home track? Thanks to some ingenuity, planning and seizing of an opportunity, this is being done. The electrathon guys will soon have a home track at old Shawmut airport. It’s being built around a concrete pad that once supported an aircraft hangar. It’s good to see this.

We are well pleased with the success of this program. It has gotten the name Chambers County, Ala., out there in a very good, positive and wholesome way. Electric car racing is one of many good things going on right now at the Chambers County Career Technical Center.

It ain’t Vo-Tech anymore.