2011-2012 Season has Officially Started!

Today, Team Marine met with junior prospects interested in joining Team Marine for a few hours after school. Mr. Kay, our 4-year assistant coach Renee Klein, and the team talked about the requirements to be in Team Marine and the very exciting competitions we will be taking place in this year. So far, two projects have been established for the 2011-2012 QuikSCience Challenge: our grocery store bag research and the VW Beetle EV conversion. We look forward to having a very successful year and lots of thanks to the juniors who showed up today, Renee, Mr. Kay, and Samo chemistry teacher Mr. Harris for volunteering to help coach the EV team!

Plastic Bags Ban goes into Effect

Whats non-recylcable, made from oil, and banned from Santa Monica? Plastic grocery bags!

Thanks to the the voiced complaints of Santa Monica citizens, The Santa Monica City council drafted a ban on single-use bags which went into affect four days ago! Lots of thanks to the Team Marine, SSA, and Heal the Bay club members who took time during finals week last year to protest at city hall on the day this band was proposed.

Chris Paine comes to Samohi!

At the end of this past school year, former Team Marine member Aidan Richker helped to bring the famous documentary film maker Chris Paine to SAMOHI to do a special guest lecture for the marine bio students. Chris Paine is responsible for the shocking and informative documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? While at samo, Chris Paine also brought his all-electric Tesla car… Mr Kay even got to test drive it! Lots of thanks to Mr. Paine for coming down and Aidan for making it happen!

Heal the Bay Video

Recently, the Heal the Bay foundation created a program known as “trash your friends”. When you “trash” a friend, their screen will fill up with single-use plastic bags among other types of trash and spreads awareness of the plastic-filled gyres all over the world. Adam Bagger and Kevin McDevitt from CourierContent created a short film about the “trash your friends” program that has received a lot of attention and was even short listed for Adobe’s 2011 Mofilm Cannes Lions contest. The link to the Heal the Bay video is posted below but much love out to CourierContent and the Heal the Bay foundation and good luck in the film contest.

Electric Car Update

The struggle to convert an old Volkswagen Bug into a fully electric car has been a long and hard one. On tuesday, Team Marine members searched for certain types of 96-volt lithium ion batteries for our electric car conversion. Yesterday, our Eco-Engineer, Patricio Guerrero, was emailed by the manager of a battery manufacturing company telling us that they could custom build batteries to fit the necessary dimensions for the back seat of our Volkswagen Bug!

As if this wasn’t good enough news, Patricio also purchased new throw-out bearings. The throw-out bearings are important because they allow the engine to maintain momentum without consuming energy while the clutch is engaged. These small feats bring us a few steps closer to making our dream of a fully electric Bug a reality.
VW-1339-c Throw-out Bearing with clips!

Team Marine’s Gas to Electric Beetle Conversion

Team Marine’s mechanics have been working on converting a gas-guzzling 1971 Candy Red Volkswagen Beetle into a zero-emission electric vehicle.

The Whole Gang with SAMOHI’s Lesson on Wheels

Our Team’s car committee has been created, and currently meets every Tuesday and Thursday in Santa Monica High School’s Auto Shop. A million thanks to our Auto Guru, Mr. Cox, for allowing us to work in his shop.

Here are some updates on the project:

  • The engine has been taken out and we have just recently detached the clutch from the engine, which we need for the electric motor to attach to the transmission.
  • We ordered the yoke and motor plate; these are the main components in attaching the engine to the transmission.
  • We took the dimensions of the engine and the back of the car (where the motor will go) and theorized where the batteries will fit.

We are still researching what type of battery will be best for the car and budget we are currently working under, but are already getting our hands dirty. We also need to pick a name for the Beetle; comment with suggestions!