Driving Cars Into Miami


Peter Bauman, Journalist

Everyone sees them; small remote-control cars zoom through the hallways of the school. The sound of the whirring motor flies by everyone on the first floor. Everyone knows about the cars, but what goes on in the class? To sum up the curriculum, students work to produce the fastest and most efficient RC racing cars. Some students work on engineering the car, some practice their driving skills, and some work on the enterprise section for the team. Despite seeming like a class to goof off and not learn anything, the class teaches many real-life skills. According to senior, and chief engineer of the Cluck Cluck Racing team, the class is a “Great opportunity to apply knowledge into a larger experience. We get to experience working with a real team, whether as an engineer, in business, or, as a manufacturer.” The skills that the class teaches will apply much later in life, as students go into college or a trade. 

The greatest part about the class is the national competition in the spring. Last year, two teams from Ipswich qualified for nationals and competed against other teams in Miami. This year, the competition will be hosted in Miami again, and all teams in the class are working to qualify for the competition. When discussing the competition with Mr. Gallant, the teacher of the class, he stated that “You can qualify by earning points in the online competition or winning a regional event.” Fortunately, for Ipswich students, a regional event is being hosted in Ipswich against Everett High School at the end of January. Suppose one of the Ipswich racing teams were to win, they would qualify for the national competition. Aside from that event, teams have been working tirelessly to earn points for their team. When asked about what his team has been doing so far, Norris stated “We have also worked on expanding the racing brand, establishing an enterprise, and avenues to improve our team.” The success of the team is not a function of just one person; everyone on the team needs to contribute to achieve their goals and reach the national competition. 

Now, what is this national competition? The event this year is going to be returning to a high school in Miami, Florida. The teams from Ipswich, about 40 or more teams from across the US, and even some teams from China will be attending the competition. The competition consists of two main sections: the actual racing aspect, and the enterprise presentation portion. The enterprise teams will present everything they have worked on throughout the year. From projects that the teams have made, to hype videos meant to make the teams look professional, these are some of the most important parts of the competition. Then, as one could guess, is the actual racing competition. Each team will race their car through a course, trying to achieve the fastest time. Also, there is a drag race, which has cars zoom down a 75-foot track; no turning, no strategy, just pure speed. In the end, points are compiled from all aspects of the competition, and awards are given to each category, as well as the overall winner. 

The next time you see one of the cars burning rubber in the hallways of the school, you will know that it is actually for a greater purpose, not to just have fun, (even though racing the cars is very fun). Gallant states that to be successful, teams need “People willing to work to improve.” This is a perfect way to describe the students in the class, as everyone works to be the best racing team in the country.