South Park model car designers team head to world competition
The Screaming Eagles Formula One team at South Park High School is used to beating the odds and is about to try again.
After six years of designing model cars for competition, the group of recent graduates plans to compete with 28 other teams in the F1 in Schools World Finals Nov. 8 to 16 in Austin. Twenty-five countries will be represented.
The Screaming Eagles' carbon dioxide-powered balsa wood F1 cars must pass speed and durability tests. The four-member team is required to defend its design techniques. The winner gets the Bernie Ecclestone Trophy and a scholarship to City University in London.
Preparing for the international contest isn't easy. The team plans to present its design Thursday to the school board, said David Darak, applied engineering instructor at the school and the team's adviser.
He said the purpose of the meeting is to raise awareness and recognize the students's work.
Screaming Eagles members are Michael Scandrol, team manager, Josh Smith, manufacturing engineer, Zach Palamara, design engineer, and Stone Swiess, graphic designer.
“They are doing a complete overhaul for the international competition,” Darak said, referring to their Formula One entries.
“We've been doing this for six years, and to finally get to this place has all of us excited,” Swiess said. “Now we don't just represent Pittsburgh or just South Park High. We represent all 50 states.”
The team formed in middle school, and because they've graduated, they're working on their time. The Screaming Eagles team is part of the Engineering Design and Development course at the high school.
Swiess said it's fascinating to work via Skype with another team based in Germany to prepare for the Texas competition. Darak said that type of collaboration happens only for teams that do well in their countries' national contests.
The Screaming Eagles placed third with a car that traveled a 60-foot track in just over a second at the event at the Michigan International Speedway.
“Who would have thought a team of high school kids would be working with kids six hours ahead of us?” Swiess said.
The two teams won't meet until the finals. The finished cars will include parts and concepts from both teams.
The South Park team needs $12,000 to compete and has raised $1,000 so far. Members are canvassing the area for business and family sponsorships.
High school Principal Patricia Smith called the team “an outstanding group of young men” and said private and corporate donations are being sought.
“We're not a huge district, but we're proud” that the program has done well with South Park students and what they've been able to build, she said.
A minimum of $5,000 is needed by July 12 for a hotel booking for the world competition.
Palamara wants to see his creation in action.
“I think it's pretty cool how you can design something on the computer and make it come to life,” he said.
David Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5804 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
- Police say couple in Oakland murder-suicide had ‘troubled’ relationship
- New CEO eager to revitalize Pittsburgh International Airport
- Charge against ex-Steeler dropped after community service
- Goodell defends league, dodges difficult questions
- Pittsburgh mayor denies ethics investigation into his ‘Undercover Boss’ performance
- Newsmaker: Kate Groschner
- Week before sentencing, Ferrante seeks acquittal or new trial
- Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M
- Propel Braddock school bans backpacks, to add metal detectors
- 2nd lawsuit filed against Gov. Wolf seeking reinstatement of open records director