Local students take first place in electric car competition

Picture taken on race day. Standing from left to right, Safa Saeed, Jennise Alfaro, Youliana Boutros, and Kirsten Okamoto. Driver is Jill Zweip. Courtesy photo

Students from Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science showed skills

Young high school women engineers lead the way to a green world. On Saturday, April 27, the Women’s Masterminds, an Engineering Club at Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science led by Kirsten Okamoto as president of the club and Crew Chief of the all girls race team, won first place in the 10th Annual UC Irvine Energy Invitational Ultra Lightweight electric race car competition.

Six teams from local high schools built and raced their cars that competed in the Ultra Lightweight Category. The one-hour timed event measured distance and speed that a car can travel on a dollar’s worth of energy. However, it was easy to tell who won because the Sato Academy all girls race team car number 562 lapped many of the cars from the competing teams.

“It was gratifying and exciting to win the race after all the hard work and sacrifice it took to build the car! It has been a great opportunity to learn and apply theoretical knowledge to a practical application!” said Kirsten.

The Sato Academy Engineering teacher, Lenny Perez, secured funding for the race team and provided guidance to the club. University of Irvine students and professors participated as judges, inspectors, and race scorers at the events. In addition, during the Design Review element of the competition that occurred on April 12, this same team placed second when presenting their car’s design.

The young women of the Sato race team are certainly leading the way to ensuring that the world’s future transportation will be even more environmentally friendly.a