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  • Courtesy Members of Bellmont's Super Mileage team gather around their high-mileage car. From left, they are Dakota Short, Austin Davison, team captain Dustin Loshe, Luke Spannan, Kaleigh Massman, Lance Williamson, Nicolas Garcia, Brice Moser and adviser William Richman. Jacob Bauman, Jeremiah Lengrich, Mitchell Trentacosti and adviser Jason Egly are not pictured.

Monday, May 14, 2018 1:00 am

Education Notebook

Bellmont students' car gets 1,306 mpg

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

As first-place winners in the Indiana Super Mileage Engineering Challenge, the Bellmont High School team got more than a trophy. Two students and an adviser got to go on a ride along with NASCAR driver Garrett Smithley.

And that's not all.

“I think one of the biggest benefits was that it brought a lot of notice to the program, and several students have already signed up to be part of the team next year,” teacher and adviser William Richman said in an email.

Richman, who competed in the annual competition as a Carroll High School senior in 2007, said Bellmont's win was especially notable because it was the first time in four years the school competed.

“To me, it felt like a daunting task because we haven't done a project of this scope before while I have been teaching at Bellmont,” he said.

Formerly known as the IMSTEA Super Mileage Challenge, the event featured high school teams who designed and built high-mileage cars.

It was hosted by the Engineering/Technology Educators of Indiana at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

Richman's senior capstone class – Engineering Design and Development – tackled the challenge. The upperclassmen had already taken two engineering courses, covering 3-D modeling software, problem-solving methods and design and mathematical principles, the teacher said.

Students divided the responsibilities, which included construction of the frame, body and steering system, Richman said, noting team captain Dustin Loshe worked on the electrical systems.

Their car was powered by lithium-ion batteries that operated a 2,000-watt motor, Richman said, noting it achieved an equivalency of 1,306.69 mpg.

Several local companies contributed to the effort, Richman said, noting the team didn't want to disappoint its sponsors.

“Our main goal this year was to be able to pass inspection, which is difficult in itself being the first year and not knowing what to expect exactly,” he said.

He and his students agree about the most enjoyable part of the project: “Finally being able to drive the vehicle.” 

Scholarships, grants, recognitions

• Harbor Freight Tools for Schools will award more than $1 million in cash prizes to outstanding public high school skilled trades teachers and programs. Applications open Wednesday and are due July 6. Go to for more information and to register.

• The Indiana Commission for Higher Education awarded 200 scholarships to the second class of Next Generation Hoosier Educators. Recipients will receive $7,500 annually – up to $30,000 total – for committing to teach in Indiana for at least five years after graduating from college. Northeast Indiana recipients include Elizabeth Bogle and Caroline Obergfell of Bishop Dwenger High School; Kennedy Brough of Bishop Luers High School; Samuel Burchett of Carroll High School; Lillian Castleman of Heritage Junior-Senior High School; Hadley Decker, Allison Mason and Gabrielle Shuler of New Haven High School; Kayla Deremer and Ralyn Schwartz of Norwell High School; Andrea Landrigan and Anna Zvers of Homestead High School; Sarah Moher and Acadia Rekeweg of Leo Junior-Senior High School; Steven Weibel of Snider High School; Elise Witmer of Lakewood Park Christian School; Meredith Green, Jaelyn Himes and Sydney Korte of Columbia City High School; McKenzie Hart and Cora Pence of Churubusco Junior-Senior High School; Hannah Porter of Whitko High School; Melanie Gradeless and Aaron Hendryx of Huntington North High School; and Alexis Ramseyer of Bluffton High School.

• Warsaw Community Schools received a Zimmer Biomet partnership grant. The $150,000 award will support STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – initiatives through expansion of STEM materials and personnel and the expansion of the district's partnership network.

• Trine University student Shannon Tew of Kendallville received the top community award for her Community Health Interventions Project, an original health care delivery concept, at the fifth annual Innovation Challenge. It was hosted by Fifth Third Bank and Trine's Innovation One.

Mason Sell, a senior at South Adams High School, will represent Indiana at the National Skills and Leadership Conference as a CNC, computer numerical controlled, milling specialist next month in Louisville, Kentucky. Sell earned first place in the Indiana State SkillsUSA. Classmate Keagan Yoder placed second in the CNC turning contest. 

• Warsaw Area Career Center students sorted and weighed 1,200 pounds of plastic lids and caps, which were recycled into three benches for Rudy's Dog Park. The principles of business management classes performed similar work to benefit Madison and Leesburg elementary schools.

Ivy Tech

• Ivy Tech and American College of Education in Indianapolis have a new transfer agreement. Ivy Tech students earning an associate of science or associate of applied science degree in the School of Health Sciences can move seamlessly to American's bachelor of science in health care administration program.

• Ivy Tech has partnered with the following institutions to create a statewide reverse transfer agreement: Ball State University, Indiana State University, Indiana University, Purdue University (West Lafayette, Fort Wayne and Northwest) and the University of Southern Indiana. The agreement is also in collaboration with Vincennes University. Through reverse transfer, students pursuing a four-year degree could be eligible for an associate degree in general studies or a liberal arts program from Ivy Tech based on a combination of their previous work at Ivy Tech and current course work.


• Lakewood Park Christian School in Auburn raised $43,500 to combat human trafficking through Take a Stand. Take a Stand is a day when students stand the duration of the school day and unite to raise funds for Destiny Rescue, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child sex trafficking. Their efforts have resulted in the rescues of 29 children. The school is hosting another Take a Stand on Friday. Students plan to raise enough money to rescue 12 more children.


• Purdue University's Summer College for High School Students program lets eligible high school students enroll in up to seven credit hours as non-degree students and take any of 37 online courses and approximately 75 on-campus courses. Credits can be applied toward a Purdue degree or may be transferred. Go to for more information.

Students and parents who have a favorite teacher can nominate the individual for Teacher Honor Roll. Send nominations to The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email

To submit an item, send a typed release from the school or organization to Education Notebook, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email at least two weeks before the desired publication date.