By Mike Schuh

HEREFORD, Md. (WJZ) — High schools across the country send their best and brightest into an engineering battle.

As Mike Schuh reports, a group of teens from Maryland rolled to a national victory.

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You need to be pretty sharp to excel in Dodd O’s classes.

“This is one of the robots they’ll use in GT engineering,” O said.

With such things, comes failure.

“But from that we learned what could go wrong and how we could improve the vehicle,” O said.

Then, he upped the ante. Going from a concept you can hold in your hand, to one you need to roll out by hand, students created a $5,000 electric car.

Inside, there is fully grown high school senior Nick Pindale.

“Cramped,” Pindale said. “There is no room.”

Five students at Hereford High School built it, and it won in a regional competition.

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Next stop: California to the nationals.

“They’re like ‘OK, you can do it,’ so I just put the pedal down and that was the fastest lap,” said Josh Perry, driver.

So, they won the national title with solid planning and prep.

“Being prepared we knew the sweet spot and we just knew how we needed to perform and that was all we worried about,” said Maddie Westwater, high school junior.

“I think just being so prepared above everyone else,” said Mackenzie Clark, high school senior.

Prepared in that their car was the only one with a canopy, they would arrive hours before to prep the car.

They say it was fun taking what they learned in class to solve the inevitable failures they encountered along the way.

It was truly a hands-on education.

“It’s another example of authentic education,’ said Andrew Last, principal.

A new team is being recruited for next year. They will improve and redesign the current car.

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