Opening Week at Missouri S&T means over a thousand wide-eyed freshmen running hither and yon, moving into dorms and having fun in everything from parties to academic workshops, Project X to a pig roast, all under the loving and watchful eyes of Patty Frisbee’s minions in New Student Programs.

At the shop? It’s been four years since the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center moved to the new Kummer building, more than enough time to knock the shine off the floor. And the walls. And the cabinets. The machine shop and specialty labs have been cleaned up and restocked with supplies; now it’s the full-court press to make the Arnoldy Fabrication Center ready for student groups to move back in.

Design team “season” is no longer just during the spring semester. Robotics, Formulae SAE Lincoln, Mars Rover and Solar Car competitions last through June into July. Two of next year’s Baja events will take place during finals week and after the semester ends, making it tougher still to do summer cleaning and equipment maintenance.
Yesterday S&T’s BAJA! Team jumped in and helped shop manager Richard “Mater” Dalton shove all the projects to one area and attack the floor. They scraped away at epoxy, tape, and other undetermined material stuck to the concrete after too many student all-nighters, before starting the massive stripping process. The all-Baja crew worked late and asked if they could stay even later and do the whole shop in one day. Great attitude, but no place to move the equipment out of the way.
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Typical of in-semester student teams, if they work late they straggle in late the next day, so Richard found himself all alone. But his office coworkers did their best to help by posting signs of encouragement.

Solar Miner VIII Rallies, Takes 7th


The American Solar Challenge, the biennial road/highway endurance test for cars and teams alike, wrapped up today at the University of Minnesota campus. Solar car racing events, whether the annual track race or the biennial road journey, are … [Continue reading]

40 Laps. 137 Miles. Under Full Cloud Cover


Not bad, not bad at all! A near-faultless drive by Devin Valamores and Austin Homesly, and a very dependable car that vanquished The Hill. The entertainment was on the straightaway and The Hill. Everywhere else it was "slow and steady" to … [Continue reading]

The Little Red Solar Car That (Finally) Could!


Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville is the underdog, the team everyone is pulling for. Rumor is they use an old motor that makes a heckuva racket, but that just doesn't have the "oomph!" They've attacked The Hill over and cover again to no … [Continue reading]

It’s Good To Be Back!


Hill? What hill? Solar Miner VIII took the hill from hell as if it wasn't even there. No 200-yard running start, no hesitating, no fear, just boys-will-be-boys pedal to the carbon fiber and jaws dropped all over the paddock. #42 has been … [Continue reading]

At Dawn They Ride!


If the damned rain ever quits………….. … [Continue reading]

The Hill Of Death Eats Solar Cars

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Problem #1: Straight out of the pits is the Mt Everest of solar car racing. The Hill. Most teams entering the track have to go in the opposite direction, turn around, and get a 200-yard running start to have a good chance of making it to turn #1. … [Continue reading]

S&T Clears Dynamics Test/What’s A Few Cones Among Friends?


The Solar Miners squeezed through scrutineering with some difficulties, but got high enough marks to reach the dynamics (wet braking, figure eight, slalom and U-turn radius) events. Drivers Austin Holmsley and Devin Valmores each had a crack at … [Continue reading]

Letha And The Beetle


It's not always about the car. Sometimes it's the little side stories that add the human spice, memories that will bring a smile years from now. Letha Young, Honorary Knight of St Patrick, has long been the Team Mom, student herder, fire … [Continue reading]

What’s A Solar Car Race Without Rain?


Endless 16-hour days are wearing on this crew, but out of the exhaustion has risen a quiet determination to get things done. No drama, no meltdowns, just an intense focus on the tasks at hand. Fix the battery management system, clear the dynamic … [Continue reading]