Ward presents resolution to young engineers

State Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, on Wednesday presented a legislative resolution to Calera High School engineering students who took first-place honors at the 2009 Institute for Affordable Transportation National Basic Utility Vehicle Competition in Indianapolis, Ind. in April.

The resolution, sponsored by Ward and State Reps. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, and Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, recognizes the students’ yearlong project of designing and building a basic utility vehicle. The class also produced an assembly manual accompanied by a step-by-step video. The assembly kits will eventually be shipped to developing countries in need of affordable and simple transportation.

“I couldn’t believe the wonderful innovation being done in this class,” said Ward, who joked he could barely follow the assembly instructions for his daughter’s bicycle. “What you all are doing is something way beyond and above me.”

Ward continued, “When you guys do something successful, something truly remarkable, the state needs to make sure to let you know you’re doing a good job.”

Calera was one of only two high schools to compete in Indianapolis against John Brown University, University of Missouri-Columbia and Purdue University.

“Our students not only placed first in their class, but they also outscored every team at the competition coming in first place overall,” said Teacher Brian Copes. “Additionally, the students won the award for most innovative design. They won all three levels of the competition.”

Seniors on the winning team presented the competition trophy to Principal Richard Bishop, who will store the trophy alongside other school awards.