Westmount Mavericks Students are Racing to STEM Glory
Whether it be robotics programs, coding clubs or science fair teams, students are always looking to enrich their skills and apply what they have learned in real-world situations.
The Westmount Mavericks are just one example of how HWDSB students are setting themselves up to be leaders in the STEM community.
Beginning as a 3D-Design Club in 2020, the team welcomed students of all grades to attend meetings and workshops to learn about the principles of technological design. Led by technological design teacher Joe Biro and student Mohammad Mohammad, the club has since developed into a multidisciplinary engineering team which includes components of construction, manufacturing, transportation technology, electrical, communications technology, and business.
In September, the team combined their various skillsets to compete in the University of Waterloo’s High School Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge! Hosted by Waterloo Engineering, the EV Challenge allows students to design, build and drive their own electric race cars in an endurance competition. After a grueling 43 laps, the rookie team managed to secure an impressive 9th place! The drivers in this race included students Mohammad Mohammad, Mattea Reid, Riven Schmidt, Joel Matthews, and Vanessa Ng.
“Although only five drivers raced the car, there are many other dedicated team members who helped build the car through their technological and leadership skills,” said Vanessa Ng, co-leader of Westmount Mavericks’ design and communications departments. “24 team members traveled to Waterloo helped make our first EV challenge a success, with interest in the team growing to over 50 members since the race!” she said.
With the Westmount Mavericks skillsets continuing to grow, the team says they are excited to improve on the car to compete in the next EV Challenge in May 2024.
“Throughout the year, we’ll continue to analyze the race and improve the car accordingly with the aim to push the limits of the design,” said Riven Schmidt, co-leader of Westmount Mavericks’ design department. “Building this car has given us a better idea of what it takes to manufacture a physical version of something. It’s easy to make a model of something in computer-aided design (CAD), but to be able to know how to make it so a machinist can produce it on a mill – that’s a whole different skill. It has also hammered home the importance of carefully planning out these projects that need to be manufactured and combine dozens of components,” he said.
Mohammad says he and Riven are committed to sharing their knowledge and experiences with the next generation of Westmount students as they are set to graduate at the end of the 2023-24 school year.
“We look forward to supporting the next generation of students who will carry on developing the race car, eventually building a second car with Vanessa. On top of being proud of the car itself, it’s exciting to know that our team’s work is being integrated into part of the school’s design curriculum,” said Mohammad.
Congratulations to Westmount Mavericks on your success at the EV Challenge, and for making waves in the broader STEM community. We look forward to watching your next race in May 2024!
To stay up to date with Westmount Maverick news, follow the team on Instagram @westmountmavericks.