Thirteen students and four faculty members from Alfred State’s Automotive Trades Department  joined more than 450 competitors at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah, earlier this month to attempt to break the land speed record for one liter automobiles. The Alfred State team succeeded in achieving a peak speed of just over 110 mph using a modified Honda Insight Hybrid donated by an Alfred alumnus.
The event marks the first time the Alfred team has competed at Bonneville Flats, and it was the culminating event for students who worked on modifications to the vehicle for months in advance of the intense project-based learning project.
Project-based learning involves learning through solving real world problems that have been put in the context of real world situations. Rooted in the core of all educational programs at Alfred State, project-based learning is one of the many reasons why Alfred State can boast a 99 percent employment and transfer rate.
Prior to the Bonneville land speed attempt, an Automotive Trades Department student team won a May victory in another donated Honda Insight that was raced at the Watkins Glen Green Grand Prix . There, the student-prepared car went against competitors from around the country to capture a mileage challenge, averaging 96 MPG over a three-hour-long race at the Finger Lakes track.
Local students who traveled to Bonneville Salt Flats include Aaron Burdin and Billy McMahon, both of Avoca.
Students surround the Alfred State Honda Insight that competed at Bonneville Salt Flats. From left, Michael Ronan, professor, Automotive Trades Department; Tim Randall of Spencerport, a 2012 automotive trades graduate; Billy McMahon of Avoca, a 2012 automotive trades graduate; Geoffrey Aman of Rochester, a 2012 automotive trades graduate; Will Weaver and Sean Haggerty, instructors, Automotive Trades Department.