Fort Worth students get ready to take a sun-powered roadtrip to California

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 18 at 10:47 PM

FORT WORTH -- Nineteen students from All Saints Episcopal School designed and built a three-wheel car that’s powered by the sun.

They call it “Sun Chaser,” and it’s getting ready to head west for a big race.

“When you get to the finish line, it's more of a feeling of success that you were able to build a car that can go from Texas to California,” said student Ethan Fricks. “That's what the whole race is about.”

The team leaves from Texas Motor Speedway next Tuesday. Twelve members will be taking turns driving the car until they get to the Los Angeles Exposition Park.

The seven-day race is part of the Solar Car Challenge, a program that helps motivates students in science, engineering, and alternative energy.

“It's a great feeling for us to know that we can do this,” Fricks said.

The journey started two years ago. None of the students knew much about cars when they started getting their hands dirty, but they are now experts.

“I had never soldered wires before -- I was so scared the first time I did it,” said team member, Emily Marcho.

For every member, the biggest highlight was when they put a faster engine in the car.

“When we first ran it, everybody was like ‘Oh my gosh, did you hear that?’” Marcho said. "It was purring, and it was awesome. Everybody was proud of themselves.”

The students haven’t crossed the finish line, but they are winners already. Their “homemade” ride did more than teach. It gave them the confidence to do even more.

“I can go do things if I really want to,” Marcho said. “Great things are going to come out of this.”

You can follow the team on Twitter @asesolarcar, and they will be posting blogs and updates on Weebly during their trip to California.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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