Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trip to Ann Arbor Pioneer High School

Just before Thanksgiving, Chief Engineer Andy Rogers and I trailered Car 51 to Ann Arbor Pioneer High School to talk to teacher Bobby Klemmer's advanced mathematics classes about the importance that math and science plays in engineering. We presented to all five of Mr. Klemmer's classes about the team, Car 51 and specifically what the role of mathematics was in Team Leader Paul Strefling's design of Car 51's optimized chassis system. All of the students were very smart and had many intelligent questions for us; helping to again remind us of the importance of our role in encouraging post-secondary education, especially that of a technical nature, in our communities.

12/15/08: I've added Mr. Klemmer's very nice comments below. Thanks so much for having us, Bobby! Also thanks to Mr. Borovsky for allowing us to store Car 51 in the Auto Show for the day!

"I would like to send my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Michigan State College of Engineering and the MSU Formula Racing Team, in particular. On November 25th, Adam Zemke (Project Manager) and Andy Rogers (Lead Engineer) represented the team and Michigan State Engineering very well by conducting multiple presentations for my advanced mathematics classes at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, MI. My Calculus and Pre-Calculus students were extremely interested and impressed with the possibilities that were shared with them about the practicality of high-level math and science. Adam and Andy were very informative and knowledgeable, answering many of the students' questions and enthusiastically presenting many details of the race car designed by the racing team. My students were inspired that day, and many having been talking about formula racing since then. As a matter of fact, a couple students mentioned that they want to consider attending MSU because of the Formula Racing Team. As a teacher, I am very grateful for opportunities to show my students the relevance of studying math and science. This was the epitome of such an opportunity. Thank you very much to Adam Zemke, Andy Rogers, the MSU Formula Racing Team, and MSU College of Engineering. Keep up the good work on the race cars, and I look forward to hopefully working with you again in the future. Go State!

Sincerely, Bobby Klemmer (1999 MSU graduate)"

Go Pioneers!


Monday, November 17, 2008

FIRST LEGO League Tournament

Each November, the team brings MSU's newest Formula SAE car to the Michigan Regional FIRST LEGO League Tournament, held on campus at MSU. Anyone who is familiar with the concept of the FIRST LEGO program knows that these things are WAY cool and the kids who build them are really smart. The concept involves creating autonomous robots out of LEGO's that traverse obstacles on a course. The obstacle locations are fixed, but the participants don't know which ones await them until they get to the tournament. Each team is responsible for programming their robot to perform the course successfully. MSU has hosted the Mid-Michigan Regional Tournament for several years now. At this stage of the series, participants are only one step away from going to the Statewide competition.

We bring our race cars each year to show LEGO Leaguers and their parents alike of the educational extracurricular opportunities that are available at MSU. As I said, these kids are really smart, so the caliber of questions that we receive from them tends to be almost shockingly good. As in previous years, we had a great time and had some great conversations with (hopefully) some future Formula SAEers.


Competition Tables

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

October's Most Dedicated Team Member

Tonight, we named the first Most Dedicated Team Member of Car 12's Team. This award is given each month to non-leaders/manager team member(s) who go over and above the duties of an Introductory team member. Jordan Kozelka, MSU Physics Junior, was the first recipient. Congrats Jordan!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

YES! Expo

Each fall, the team joins the MSU College of Engineering at the Youth, Engineering & Science (YES!) Expo at Ford Field in Detroit. This event is a lot of fun and allows team members to see the impact that a Formula SAE car and the FSAE concept has on America's youth.

Budding Operations Team star Josh Frontiera represented the team very well at this event and was kept busy with questions all day by the over 15,000 students who attended. Great job, Josh!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Formula SAE California Registration

Today we completed registration for the 2nd of Car 12's Formula SAE Competitions, that which takes place at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Due to Car 51's 4th place finish at this event in 2008, we were awarded the vehicle No. 4 for the 2009 event.

California poses different logistical and competition challenges from Michigan, but also allows us to experience racing under the hot (usually ~90 deg F+) California sun; just where it was meant to be done. It is here where, unlike Michigan, cold weather isn't the limiting factor for the cars...the upper echelon of temperature is. With late June temperatures as high as they are in SoCal, keeping the race cars cool is often our hardest challenge. But the ability to push the cars to the limits of the tires is well worth the trouble.

Competition dates are from Wednesday, June 17 through Saturday, June 20th at Auto Club Speedway. Each day is free and open to the public. As with Michigan, we'll be hosting a breakfast on Saturday morning for family, friends and sponsors at our paddock. Please let us know if you would like to attend!