Solar car team shows students STEM fields

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CHOCTAW, Miss. (WTOK) - Choctaw Central's Solar Car Team won second place in its division in the Bridgestone World Solar Car Challenge in Australia.

Choctaw Central students built a solar-powered car from the ground up.

"We already had it molded out from a couple of years back," says Braden Peters, senior. "This is the third car we've built."

Each year the Tushka Hashi team works to make their car lighter and faster for the World Solar Challenge.

"The car weighs 500 pounds without a driver," says Liddia Hughes, Choctaw Central Occupational Training Center Director.

With the help of solar cells, eight 12 volt batteries and sunlight, the car was able to travel 1,800 miles in six days from Darwin, Australia to Adelaide, Australia.

"It was kind of smooth sailing," says Taelor Sockey, junior.

The Tushka Hashi team was up against another high school, as well as colleges and universities from all over the world.

"It was a fun experience I've never had before," says Peters.

And that's the point of the solar car team.

"The team started to try to get high school students at Choctaw Central motivated in the STEM program with electrical, mechanical and solar engineering."

Since the solar car team was created in 2006, more and more tribal students have pursued careers in the STEM field.