Al Maiorano loves cars – and he loves working on cars. And though his own car hobby has thus far centered around regular gas powered cars, he was interested in learning more about the Electrathon, a national program that encourages teens to learn how to build – and then race – electric cars. Al’s good friend, Mike Grella, founded the CT chapter of the Electrathon which twice a year gives teams of CT teenagers the opportunity to design, build and then race their electric cars at Lime Rock Park. Al knew he was not the only “gearhead” at Christ Church, and he began to wonder if together, a group of Christ Church guys could sponsor an electrathon team and give a group of local teens the opportunity to learn, build and grow in confidence through the Electrathon program.
So Al, along with church members Steve Worth, Will Emmett and Lexy Westphal, reached out to Ed Rostowski, the metal shop teacher at Amity High, to see if they could create a partnership in forming an electrathon team. Ed was also familiar with the Electrathon program and was glad to support a group of motivated mentors interested in getting a team going. The team will use the church’s parish hall as the general meeting space for making the design, planning fundraising and doing the final assembly of all finished components to create the vehicle. The sub-assembly and parts production will be conducted at Amity High in the metal shop, or possibly elsewhere with field trips. The welding of the chassis will be conducted at a place TBD. The team will approach companies and organizations to procure sponsorship in order to fund the team’s efforts. In all of this work, the adult mentors role will be strictly to guide and to teach – all the actual work will be done by the teens, who will design the car, raise funds, manufacture parts, assemble, test and race the vehicle.
There are already a few teens signed up and they have begun meeting, have been tinkering with an older electrathon car which is now sitting in the corner of the church hall to get ideas. The team hopes that others will want to join in as the project takes off this fall. All teens 14 and up are invited to be a part of the team. Teens who drive the vehicle at the race must hold a valid driver’s license. All others can be involved in any of the other activities. If you know a boy or girl who may be interested, please tell them about this new program and send them to www.christchurchbethany.org for further information, including a video about the Electrathon. You can also email Al directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.