Currents – EV Rally and watch for signs of heat illness


Hillcrest High School wins EV Rally


A Mabelvale Middle School student competes in the autocross competition of the 2016 EV Rally. Photo by Chance Allmon


Hillcrest High School took first place in the 2016 Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Electric Vehicle (EV) Rally on May 6 at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds. The contest included more than 200 participants representing 15 Arkansas schools.

“The EV Rally has grown each year, which reflects the growing interest in electric vehicle technology,” said Rob Roedel, manager of corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Our program enables students to obtain hands-on experience in technology that encourages critical thinking skills, teamwork and creativity.”

Paragould High School won second place and Fayetteville High School’s engineering team placed third in the academically focused event. For the full results, please visit:


The Fayetteville High School – Agriculture electric vehicle undergoes a safety check prior to the competition. Photo by Chance Allmon

The participating schools are involved in the EV program that includes a curriculum that incorporates a variety of disciplines, including math, auto mechanics, physics, engineering, electronics and journalism. Students participated in competitions that tested their abilities and their vehicles’ performance capacities.

The day-long event began with technical and safety inspections of the vehicles. Students then focused on an autocross competition and acceleration event. Next, the helmets were unstrapped as the students tested their academic knowledge in troubleshooting and quiz bowl competitions. The day wrapped up with a race to determine the distance that the vehicles could run on a single charge.

Participants in this year’s rally included: Arkansas Tech Career Center; Arkansas Career Training Institute; Bryant High School; Cabot High School; Fayetteville High School – Agriculture; Fayetteville High School – Digital Electronics; Hamburg High School; Hampton High School; Hillcrest High School; Hellstern Middle School (Springdale); Mabelvale Jr. High; Paragould High School; Ramay Jr. High (Fayetteville); Viola High School, and Woodland Jr. High (Fayetteville).

Watch for signs of heat illnesses

Keep heat stress at bay this summer by knowing how to prevent heat-related illnesses and recognize the symptoms in yourself and others.

Heat stroke

The most serious of heat illnesses, heat stroke, can be deadly and swift. Your body temperature could rise to 106 degrees or more in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke happens when your body temperature rises rapidly but cannot sweat quickly enough to cool itself. Symptoms include hot, dry skin or the opposite — profuse sweating, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, confusion or dizziness and slurred speech.

If you see someone with the symptoms of heat stroke, immediately call 911 and move the person to a shady area. Try misting the person with cold water, soaking his or her clothes, or fanning the body.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is the result of heavy sweating — extreme loss of salt and water. Besides excessive sweating, symptoms include extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness and confusion, nausea, clammy skin, muscle cramps and shallow, rapid breathing.

If a person suffers from heat exhaustion, move him or her to a shaded or air-conditioned area. The victim should drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages and take a cool shower or bath.

 Heat syncope

Sunbathers may be prone to heat syncope, which is dizziness or fainting after lying (or standing) for long periods of time. Dehydration can contribute to an episode of heat syncope, so keep that water bottle handy when you head to the beach.

If you feel dizzy after lying for a long time, sit or lie back down in a cool place and sip on a cool beverage — water, sports drink or clear juice.

Heat cramps

Folks who work or play sports outside in the heat may suffer from heat cramps, which result from low salt levels after heavy sweating. Stay alert if you feel cramping because it could be a symptom of heat exhaustion. Heat cramps usually are felt in the arms, legs or abdomen.

If you feel them, stop what you’re doing, sit in a cool place, and drink clear juice or a sports beverage. Take it easy for a few hours after you no longer feel the cramps — if you return to your activity, the condition could transition to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you have heart problems, are on a low-sodium diet, or the cramps do not go away in an hour, call a doctor.

Heat rash

Heavy sweating can cause a heat rash during hot, humid weather. It looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters that usually pop up on the neck or chest, groin and in the crook of your elbow. You can’t do much to treat heat rash besides keep the area dry and use baby powder to alleviate discomfort.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention