Alden-Conger students set records in nat’l contest

Published 10:03 am Friday, April 24, 2015

For another year in a row, the Alden-Conger supermileage team has taken multiple first places and even set some national records.

From April 7 to 13, the supermileage team was in Detroit to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon competition.

David Bosma, the supermileage team coordinator, said the team went home with $6,500 in prize money.

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Bosma said the team won first place in the urban diesel category, achieving 507 mpg and setting a new record for the Americas; first place in the urban concept E100 category, achieving 288 mpg and setting another record for the Americas; third in the prototype diesel category, achieving 1,065 mpg; fourth in the E100 prototype category, achieving 654 mpg; and first in vehicle design.

The supermileage team has gone to the Shell Eco-marathon for the past four or five years, Bosma said, and they have gotten first or second place in at least one class each year.

The biggest disappointment this year was the fourth place in the E100 prototype category, Bosma said.

The prize money goes back to the program to help pay for contest expenses, which are upwards of $10,000 this year. Bosma said a big portion of that was getting hotel rooms for the team’s members.

The team has 21 members in seventh through 12th grade.

Looking toward the end of the school year, the supermileage team will be going to Brainerd for the Minnesota Technology and Engineering Educators Association supermileage challenge from May 10 to 12.

Additionally, this summer the team may travel to North Carolina to visit Roger Penske’s shop. Bosma said Penske was at the Shell Eco-marathon and invited the Alden-Conger Supermileage Team to visit. Penske owns the Penske Corporation and NASCAR’s Team Penske.

Over the summer, Bosma said the team goes to parades to raise money. In September the team will meet again and lay down some plans, which will be worked on starting in November.

Looking to next season, Bosma said he wants to maintain the team’s records on urban concepts and wants to improve the team’s prototypes.

The supermileage team is a community effort. Local businesses have helped the team raise almost $21,000 to help with expenses.

“I thank the businesses that supported us,” Bosma said.