A team from Graff Career Center in Springfield, Mo., rode to victory today
in the high school division of NASA’s 8th annual Great Moonbuggy Race in
Huntsville, Ala.

The Graff team bested more than a dozen other high schools from around the
nation. Besides the first place honor, the team earned a weekend trip to
Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

Team # 1 from New Orleans area high schools in New Orleans, La., finished
second, while team #1 from Autauga County Technical Center of Prattville,
Ala., placed third. Those teams received plaques, and all three winning
teams received jackets bearing the Great Moonbuggy Race logo. The award for
best moonbuggy design went to team #1 from Lafayette County high school in
Higginsville, Mo. A special “pits award” for ingenuity and persistence went
to both teams from Autauga County Technical Center.

The competition is inspired by the actual lunar roving vehicle project,
which was successfully accomplished by the Marshall Center in the 1960s and
1970s. The race challenges students to design and build a human-powered
vehicle so they will learn how to deal with real-world engineering
problems — similar to those faced by the original NASA moonbuggy team.

Vehicles powered by two team members, one male and one female, race one at a
time over a half-mile obstacle course of simulated moonscape terrain.

The event is sponsored by the Marshall Center, the U.S. Space & Rocket
Center, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the
Alabama Aerospace Development Board.

Other competing high school teams were New Century Technology High School in
Huntsville, Ala.; Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale, Ill.;
Labette County High School in Altamont, Kan.; Pittsburg High School in
Pittsburg, Kan.; Carthage High School, Carthage, Mo.; UniTec Career Center
in Farmington, Mo.; Lansing High School in Lansing, N.Y.; and Pinewood
Preparatory School in Summerville, S.C.

The college division competition will be held Saturday, with 34 teams from
across the United States and Puerto Rico competing.