Students in the Super Mileage Vehicle Club (SMVC) recently returned from the Shell International Eco-Marathon Competition in Detroit, where their vehicle placed sixth in its category with a high mileage of 218 mpg. Burroughs was the only high school in Missouri selected to compete in a pool of 125 high schools and engineering colleges from seven countries.
Shell Eco-Marathon challenges students to design, build and drive an energy-efficient car. With three annual events (in Asia, the Americas and Europe), the competition is split into two classes — the Prototype division, which typically includes vehicles with streamlined, three-wheeled designs, and the UrbanConcept division, which focuses on near-roadworthy, fuel-efficient vehicles that meet real-life driving needs. Vehicles are further categorized by their energy source, be it diesel fuel, gasoline, ethanol, gas-to-liquid, compressed natural gas, hydrogen or battery electric technologies.
Burroughs competed in the Prototype class running on diesel fuel. Over several days, the teams had multiple attempts to show what their vehicles could do with the equivalent of one liter of fuel. The Burroughs car sailed through technical and safety inspections, being among the first to qualify for the race.
Industrial technology/engineering (IT/E) teacher Dan Barton — with assistance from IT/E teacher Chris Lubniewski, science teacher Eric Knispel and JBS parents Matt Williams, Neil Bartnett and Evan Wykes — served as sponsors for the project. Club co-presidents and seniors Evie Oglesby and R.B. Smith suggested that this year’s team participate in the Shell Eco-Marathon Competition, and they spearheaded the multi-layered process necessary to secure an invitation. Students undertook the design-and-build phase during their free periods at school and on weekends since the beginning of the school year. In addition to Evie and R.B., seven of them traveled to Detroit — sophomore Matthew Williams, junior Tolu Ogunremi, junior Sam Trzecki, sophomore Alex Smith, sophomore William Bartnett, freshman Edrick Joe and senior Nick Bach.