Homestead High School took first place in the second Bike to the Future electric bike scholarship competition April 27.
Freshman Ian Singer, a Los Altos resident, led team IYA Industries from Homestead to victory. Team Spartans from Mountain View High nabbed second place.
Sixteen high school teams were each given up to $1,000 to create an electric bicycle from scratch over the course of a few months.
Singer and teammates Yash Desai and Aayush Kumar built their e-bike using a traditional bicycle that Singer’s grandfather gave him.
“Our bike was just old, rusty, dusty. They really didn’t expect it to win,” Singer said of people’s reaction upon seeing the creation.
However, the powerful batteries and motor the team used powered them to victory. Singer knew what was needed in part because of his experience running an engineering YouTube channel, which has nearly 60,000 views.
On his channel, Singer has covered everything from how to build a portable power outlet to how to make a trebuchet.
The teams competed in challenges including an acceleration test, an obstacle course and a battery range test.
The Mountain View High team took second place for the second year. According to team leader Miles Lang, part of the fun of the competition is getting to work together as a team.
“After going through the competition the first year, we became much closer friends,” he said of his teammates. “We wanted to do it again because we had so much fun hanging out and working on the bike.”
The Mountain View team comprised Lang, Shaan Patel, Mohnish Shankar and Ojas Upadhye.
For winning, the Homestead students will split a $7,500 education scholarship. The Mountain View team will receive $5,000.
Silicon Valley Clean Energy organized the competition. The group is the community-owned electricity provider for the majority of Santa Clara County communities, including Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.