68 Schools Participated...
Power Drive Fosters Interest in Automotive and Energy Careers

Power Drive is an educational effort that challenges high school students to design and build one-person electric vehicles during the school year. In the spring, teams of students then compete at organized rallies in areas such as vehicle braking, maneuverability and endurance.

During the school year 2003-2004, instructors and students in 68 high schools participated in Power Drive. Beginning in March, the first of seven rallies were held for students to compete against each other in a number of categories. The final championship race was held in May 2004 at the Omaha Public Power District Elkhorn Service Center. The results of that competition are at the utility’s web site.

Power Drive is a light-electric vehicle competition that brings a practical focus to students’ math, science and vocational education. During the course of a year, students design and construct safe, energy-efficient electric vehicles which are then showcased at rallies later in the year. The students work in teams, under the direction of specially trained instructors.

Power Drive is designed to be a learning experience. Each student is given as much responsibility as possible in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the vehicle. As part of the experience, Power Drive challenges the students to:

  • Apply classroom lessons to create a one-person light electric vehicle
  • Work as a team with other students to construct a vehicle from the ground up
  • Design and Engineer the vehicle to operate safely and efficiently
  • Use problem-solving skills
  • Gain community support for the project
  • Compete against other school teams to see which vehicles perform best and
  • Document the efforts.

Omaha Public Power District started Power Drive in 1998 to give high school students a hands-on way to apply their studies and to promote interest in electric and automotive technologies and careers. Nebraska Public Power District joined the effort in 2001. Other Power Drive partners include the Nebraska Department of Education, U.S Department of Energy Clean Cities Program and the Nebraska Energy Office.

For More Information
  • Power Drive
  • Power Drive competition results from 2004
  • Omaha Public Power District: Consumer Relations 3E-EP1, 444 South 16th Street Mall, Omaha, Nebraska 68102-2247, 402-636-3747; Steve Anderson, 402-552-4960
  • Nebraska Public Power District: Dianna Luscher, Kearney, 308-236-2230 email;
    Dan Klimek, North Platte, 308-535-5323, email
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