Fall is always a time of transition for the West Philly Hybrid X Team. Our seniors, who were Team leaders, have moved on. Rameak Taylor is at Alvernia University, Anita Davidson is at George Washington University, Eric Yates is at Community College of Philadelphia, Marquis Garner is in City Year, Tyrone Walker is at the University of Pittsburgh, Titusville, Sakira Harris is working hard and getting ready to start college in January. Fortunately, our graduates don’t abandon us. We are always delighted when alums stop by. We’ve seen Lawrence Mahoney-Jones (Drexel), Samantha Wright (Clarion), Kenny Polk-Jones (City Year) and Anita Davidson recently.
September is also a time for new Team members. This year, we’re pleased to welcome a group of new students and teachers to our effort to win the Progressive Automotive X Prize. Our first two new members are Darmell Bailey and Karysma Cambridge, both sophomores. Darmell worked with us this summer and Karysma joined at the first September meeting. We are also thrilled to welcome Mrs. Ruth Donnelly who transferred from Swenson to West Philly High to be our Career Tech Ed Specialist. We are extremely grateful to have Dr. Christian Onuoha heading up our efforts to showcase biodiesel and biobutanol.
More recently we have welcomed Curtis Henderson, Shanea Chellis, Wagui Ndiaye, Joseph Jones and Alexis Bland. Read more about them on our Team biographies page.
Hey! We are having a great time here in New York. I think everyone is getting a little tired. The fact that we were up at 5 in the morning isn't helping us right now.
I had an interview this morning with a Chinese television channel, and I spoke to one of the correspondents in Chinese! That was really cool, and the young woman was really nice who interviewed me.
After the interviews, we had a chance to look at the other cars in the space. They look weird but the colors are really nice. The ZAP Alias is a red electric car that almost looks like a motorcycle. It has only one wheel in the back and can only sit two people. The AMP'D Sky is so cool and the most stylish car in this space. Right now, people are looking at the battery and electric engine. It is also a two-seater. There is a car here called the "Tango." It is orange. The seats are back to back. They are not parallel. It is so tiny that I am not sure how tall people would be able to drive it. It also doesn't have that much trunk space. You would have to be a light packer. The Surge is like the ZAP. It looks like a motorcyle. It is lower to the ground, and it doesn't have any windows. Most of these cars can get over 100 mph and are all electric. According to Anita, George Clooney bought the Tango car. It costs about 115, 000. Crazy.
So. Our car is the only car that is a five-seater and that has trunk space. It is the only hybrid. Khaleda found out that we are not the only ones using a lithium iron phosphate battery. That surprises us.
Well for the rest of the day we are going to keep talking to the press. Simon wants to work on the car and I want to go shopping. Ms. R says that I can't go shopping. Wamp wamp.
We are going to check into the hotel soon and then get ready for dinner.
Keep in touch
Before we begin our blog Ms. R wants me to wish her mom a happy birthday. "Happy Birthday Mrs. Radebaugh!"
I woke up this morning around four a.m. I really didn't sleep that much last night because I was nervous and excited. I was nervous that my alarm wouldn't go off, and I was excited to go to New York! When I walking to school, I was even afraid of my own shadow.
Once I arrived at West, everyone was there except Hauger. Hauger was a little late (really late according to Ann) and couldn't find the car keys for the Ford Focus. Hauger thought he left the car keys at home, but much to our delight and concern, they were in the car's ignition.
We left school around 6:15 a.m. I sat up front with Maurice Williams, because I get car sick. I didn't want to throw up in the car, especially on my new Progressive Insurance X Prize hoodie! By the time we got on the New Jersey turnpike, everyone was asleep. Momo and Jacques kept waking people up. Justin was snoring. That was horrible. Momo videotaped Darmell looking out the car window.
We arrived in Manhattan around 9 a.m. Sadly, our Ford Focus was not with us. Tom, the tow-truck driver, was stuck in the Holland Tunnel, and didn't arrive until 10 minutes before the press conference. In the mean time, Ms. R and Darmell went to go pick up bagels and cream cheese for the team. I hope Tom got a bagel.
During the press conference, they showed a video to promote a new high school competition called Dashboard+. Roger and Azeem were in the video. Roger said he thinks one day cars will smell like and run on french fries. It was really funny.
Well right now we are just talking with different media outlets. Momo did an interview for a Chinese television station, and she spoke Chinese.
It is a beautiful day here!
We just finished our group interview with Jenna Bush for the Today Show. We are very tired, but we are really excited that we are going to be on television. Before the interview, we put on our new shirts that say, "Progressive Automotive X Prize." It is black with white lettering. I really like the shirts. When they were setting up the lights and sounds, that is when we got nervous. Hauger and Jaques kept saying for us to "Talk! Talk!" But once we started talking, the nervousness seemed to disappear. We were playing almost like musical chairs, especially Darmell. Poor Darmell he really didnt want to talk. Jacques talked to the most. Hauger talked a lot. Momo didn't talk. But it was nice to be together in a group.
Ron and Jerry said that they are really proud of us. They like how we think "outside of the box." Grown-ups have ideas, but we just say whatever we want and hopefully it somehow connects. That is what we are always working on. Azeem admitted that sometimes he says stupid things, and that he thinks they are crazy ideas. Hauger disagrees. He likes Azeem's ideas.
So we are going to be here until five o'clock today. A small price to pay for being on the Today Show.
Momo and I cannot get over how nice Jenna Bush was during our interview. She liked our slogan, "Ride or die." She is such a normal person for her being a president's daughter. There was no facncy limosine or big spotlight on her. She wanted to know about us.
Okay, well we will talk to you later. Look for us on the Today Show on October 19!
Ride or Die