CareerSafe Teacher Spotlight: Forrest Hawthorn

This month's CareerSafe Teacher Spotlight is Mr. Forrest Hawthorn of East Central High School (ECHS) in San Antonio, TX, who has found an amazing way to "electrify" his students' educational journeys.

Mr. Hawthorn is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a career and technical education (CTE) teacher who emphasizes safety, including having his students complete the CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour course. As part of his work to inspireinterest in Science, Engineering, and Technology (STEM)Mr. Hawthornleads a team of students in the design, construction, testing, and development of competitive electric vehicles. 

ECHS students participate in the Alamo City Electrathon (ACE), which is a National Sanctioned Electrathon Event with Electrathon America. For the Electrathon, students design and build electric cars and race teams from other schools in a series of one-hour races. These races are not, however, about speed. Rather, they are a competition of how efficiently a car and driver can travel with unpredictable traffic, road course and reliability challenges.The ECHS team are 3-time ACE race champs!

To begin the car design process, Mr. Hawthorn's students select a driver of their car—generally someone with a smaller build. They then build a custom car specifically for that driver. An immense amount of teamwork is involved as students work to design and fabricate the most efficient vehicle possible within the Electrathon parameters. One requirement specifies that each car to be limited to approximately 1000 Watt-hours of maximum fuel in the form of electricity.To create efficiency, students focus on minimizing mechanical drag from their car's drive system, aerodynamics and rolling resistance. The measure of success in these endeavors is the total number of laps completed over the course of the races. Driving efficiency and electrical efficiency are also considered. 

The next race will be in San Antonio at the Alamodome at the end of January.You can follow the ECHS Electrathon team's journey on Instagram at @electrathon_ec.

Best of luck to Mr. Forrest Hawthorn and the ECHS Electrathon team in the January 2022 race!

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