Utah students build, race electric cars

SALT LAKE CITY -- Nineteen teams of Utah students spent months building the cars they took to the track on Thursday.

The single-seat electric vehicles all come from the same basic kit, but each is stamped with a style that reflects the teams who put them together.

Cecilia Maile of the Edith Bowen Lab School in Logan says the point is pretty straightforward to her.

"Not to crash and have fun," said Maile, who, as a fifth grader, is one of the youngest participants in the event.

GreenpowerUSA is a project of the Siemens Corporation that sponsors the competition nationwide with the goal of introducing middle and high school students to science and engineering.

"You have fabrication, you have welding skills here, you have science, you have engineering, and you have math," said Kevin Brooks with the Governors Office of Energy Development.

Last year, the high school team from Manti qualified for the national competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where they placed fourth.

"It was a crazy, crazy experience," said Alex Stevens, who has returned with the Manti team for another year.