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While most tech ed students are busy making birdhouses, North High School’s Advanced Tech Ed class is doing something a little different; they are building electric cars. While homemade birdhouses are pretty cool, these vehicles stand to save our environment, our wallets, and the nation’s dependance on foreign oil. Plus they’re really cool.

Since 1995, students in the advanced classes have been working on cars, and, in the past, the venture has been known as the High Mileage Vehicle Challenge. Today, it is called the Electrical Vehicle Team, and holds the goal of “greening up” the environment. EVT is comprised of 13 students, mostly seniors and juniors, each of which is responsible for their own contributions, whether that be soliciting businesses for donations or doing paperwork and ordering supplies.

Tyler Miller, a senior at North, is the President of EVT, and has been working on cars for two years. Miller is in charge of keeping in touch with the class’s teacher, Daniel Stanford, and making sure all the paperwork gets done. Miller said his interest in building electric cars stems from his concerns for the environment, plus it helps bring him a step closer to his goal of becoming an engineer – a goal he shares with several other team members.

The students will be working on two cars this year. Each car requires between 200 and 250 hours of work and costs approximately $3,500. So far the EVT has raised more than $5,000 from local businesses and they have about $1,000 left to go. When the cars are ready to race, those who contributed will have their names on the cars and some snazzy T-shirts to wear.