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Electric vehicle rally set for Lanier Techs Forsyth campus

SOUTH FORSYTH — High schools across Georgia plan to gather in Forsyth County on Saturday for an electric day of competition.

The second annual Electrathon America Rally is set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Lanier Technical College. Growing from last year, 18 high school teams, from as far away as Brooks County in south Georgia and Florida, will bring their custom-built, three- or four-wheeled electric vehicle to race.

The event, organized by Siemens and Forsyth County Schools, was moved to the college’s Forsyth Conference Center this year to provide “a more centralized location and greater access for the public,” said David Johnson, engineering teacher at Forsyth Central High and event organizer.

There is no cost to attend the family fun event. The race itself is comprised of two one-hour heats, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

An electrathon can be described as an electric marathon, where the winner is determined by how far a vehicle can travel in a certain time with a given amount of battery power.

The “Electrathon America-class” competition uses specific design rules to ensure safe and fair competition, with events held around the country to promote it as environmentally progressive.

Awards and team photos will take place at the “finish arch” at 3 p.m.

Electrathon America aims to “create and develop a sport that improves public awareness and understanding of electric vehicles through continuously improving vehicles and rules.”

“There are very few school activities that capture both academic rigor and the spirit of the fierce competition,” said Mitch Young, principal at Central. “Seeing the dedication and commitment of our students, teachers and business partners is inspiring, to say the least.

“This competition truly exemplifies the integration across curriculum that makes our STEM program so special.”