IHS Students Travel to Texas


Nick Fonzi, Journalist

The morning of April 27th was an early one for IHS students as they had to be at the school at 3:45 AM for their trip to Texas. This trip to Texas was for engineering students as they got to compete in the Ten80 International STEM League Finals at Texas A&M. Ten80 is a STEM organization that holds competitions for racing remote control cars. The students loaded up the school bus with luggage and headed to the airport for their flight. As the students rummaged through security, many bags were searched because of deodorant and Nintendo Switches. Shortly after security, some students saw one of their favorite rappers, Lil Baby, at the airport.  The flight took off at 6:45 AM and many, if not all, of the students slept for most of the flight.

After landing in Texas, Mr. Gallant and his chaperones rented three 15-passenger vans for the two-hour ride from Houston to College Station. Directly after arriving at the hotel, everyone went across the street to the shopping plaza for lunch.  Student Sam Fitzpatrick commented on how good the food and service was at Willy’s burgers. After lunch, the students went back to the hotel pool and swam for about an hour until they had to leave for the pit stop races and banquet at the Texas A&M Reed Arena.  Despite strong efforts in the pit stop races both Ipswich teams, AstroRacing and Dirty Pistons, were disqualified due to loose tires. The students went to bed that night knowing that they needed to perform well in the finals the next day to have a chance at winning.

The next morning, the students woke up ready to compete for the Ten80 Championship.  AstroRacing opened up the day with a strong performance by winning the fastest lap race for the High School division. Trevor Doolan, an AstroRacing pit crew member, said, “Winning the fastest lap race was really cool. It felt like our hard work was starting to pay off.”  Throughout the rest of the day, both teams had strong racing performances with multiple top-three finishes and strong presentations. The Dirty Pistons did exceptionally well in the aerodynamic design receiving a strong score in the category. Overall the Dirty Pistons finished 7th in the world and AstroRacing finished in one of the top 30 spots. Later that night, Mr. Gallant went with the students to an authentic Texas BBQ restaurant. All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ and truly embraced the Texas culture.

The following day students packed up for their flight back to Boston. The vans were scheduled to leave for the airport at 10 AM and some students woke up at 9:58 AM.  Everyone had a great experience on this trip; Chaperone John Tracy talked about how there was so much to do on the trip saying: “Between the swimming pool at the hotel, the Buffalo Wild Wings next door and the Game of Thrones Sunday night, there was something to do for everyone and they all had a great time.” There were many highlights on the trip including Connor Perley’s Texas accent, videotaping a dog in the bed of a truck on a highway, and playing Marco Polo without anyone in the pool. This trip was one that everyone will never forget. Texas Forever.