Dudley High’s AVT Team rolls over competition at Shell’s Eco-marathonBy Yasmine Regester / April 28, 2016
Dudley High School’s Automotive Vehicle Technology team returned to Greensboro victorious after placing first and third with its two handmade Urban Concept vehicles of recycled components operating on alternative fuel, at the International Shell Eco-marathon in Detroit last week.
Teams from Dudley and Duke University represented North Carolina, where Dudley’s efforts excelled over teams from throughout North America and the Western Hemisphere. Dudley went up against 125 teams from across the country, also taking home the prestigious Sprit Award, recognizing selfless efforts to assist another team compete.
Dudley’s AVT team is a volunteer after school club. Mostly all low-income students design and construct vehicles, using high technology tools. This year, students had the opportunity to work with a 3D printer.
Deborah Vincent, club advisor, noted that the AVT Club teaches the students specific abilities, such as team building and leadership skills, things that potential employers like to see.“The students get to learn hands-on how to problem solve, work together, and use new tools and technology. They get the opportunity to not only work together to build vehicles, but they get to meet and interact with people from all over the world,” said Vincent.
Major funding for Dudley’s AVT team came from The Enrichment Fund for the Guilford County Schools in a $10,000 grant through Dun & Bradstreet’s Future Thinkers, Doers and Innovators. Many area firms contributed including Honda Power Equipment, TE Connectivity and others.
Since 2011, Rick Lewis, CTE Educator/Automotive instructor at Dudley, has been taking a group of his students to participate in the International Shell Eco-marathon. The Dudley Shell Eco-marathon team began its first year with one vehicle and only two students able to travel to the event in Houston. By 2015, the team consisted of 12 students and three vehicles taking part in over five days of extraordinary experiences, on and off the track, at the Shell competition in Detroit.
Henry Teodosio, a senior at Dudley and one of the car’s drivers, noted his favorite part about the competition was the feeling of accomplishment he and his teammates had after passing inspection showcasing their car on the racetrack.
Teodosio’s teammate, Joanna Zieglar, the team’s Communications Specialist, noted that it was their teamwork that got them to the competition. “The best feeling was seeing everybody come together for the project, no matter what role you were assigned,” said Ziegler.
Over the years, Lewis has taken the students on tours of various production facilities in the Triad, to connect what they are learning in class to the real world. Lewis and the other instructors hope to be able to offer the AVT Club as an academic course soon.
“We want students to be able to apply the skills they are learning to real life events,” noted Lewis.