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Estancia High School Engineering Students Place First in Vital Link Energy Invitational Design Competition
Posted 4/28/21

Team Havoc vehicle

Estancia High School Engineering Design Pathway students won first place in the countywide Vital Link Energy Invitational Design Competition for Team Havoc’s energy-efficient vehicle design. This year nearly 200 students participated in the challenge across Orange County, and despite the event being virtual, 18 designs were submitted.

This is the first year Estancia participated in the design competition, managed by Vital Link and Southern California Edison. The competition is a project-based learning program that partners with professional mentors in the industry to develop a design for an energy-efficient vehicle. 

This year, students were tasked with building their vehicles from the ground up or modifying existing vehicles using a combination of energy sources to build their operational model. The competing teams were required to submit a design report, digital presentation, and a video. The vehicles were judged on the system design, engineering analysis, team organization and communication, economic considerations, and safety procedures.

The winning team design, Estancia’s Team Havoc’s energy-efficient vehicle, focused on reconstructing a 24-volt battery and motor system, revising the vehicle’s frame to accommodate the driver, and ensuring that the vehicle is functional. Their goal was to drive the vehicle as far as possible within the time and energy limitations. 

The judges were pleased that the team incorporated testing results and feedback into their design process, and understood the engineering and physics strategies of their vehicle, which made it successful.

“I have great pride in my students for their hard work and dedication!” said Mr. Rizza, Estancia engineering teacher. “Their innovation and skills will allow them to continue doing incredible things in their future endeavors,” he said.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) extends their gratitude to the educators and industry mentors that supported Team Havoc throughout the project including, Mrs. Yassi Ogulnik, TeWinkle Middle School engineering teacher; Anne Younglove, NMUSD college and career program analyst; Mr. John Maxwell, Orange Coast College welding professor; Mike Stefani, information technology sector; Greg Maisch, engineering and architecture sector; Timel Sebastian, motorsports racing; Jaime Rodriguez, aerospace and energy sector; Carolyn Adams, automotive sector; and Kathy Looman, engineering and architecture sector. 

To learn more about the NMUSD career technical education pathways and how to become a partner, visit our college and career website.