Earlier this year, Virginia Tech’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) donated two engines to an automotive program through Montgomery County Public Schools.
Both engines were used in previous competitions. One was a SAAB 2.0L 4 cyl B205L engine from a SAAB 9-3 circa 2000, and the other was a slightly newer low-mileage V6 engine that was pulled from HEVT’s Chevy Equinox. Much like the EcoCAR 2 program as a whole, HEVT wanted to help students learn more about technology first-hand. “The donation is a great way to recycle old competition parts, but at the same time benefit local students by allowing them to actually work with and understand the engines better,” said former team leader Jesse Alley.
The engines went to Michael Dickerson’s automotive program at Christiansburg High School, located roughly 8 miles from Virginia Tech’s campus. The automotive program serves four area high schools: Christiansburg, Blacksburg, Auburn and Eastern Montgomery. Mr. Dickerson teaches in the areas of steering and suspensions, engine performance, brakes and electrical systems. He was appreciative of the donation and said that the engines would be useful for “demos to talk about different types of engines and to prepare students for going into the field.”
A large majority of the students coming out of the program are recruited by car dealers right out of high school. Mr. Dickerson says that the program has been successful in placing students with dealerships who provide additional training in new areas. Some students follow a more technical track and go into trade schools such as the National Auto Diesel College or Universal Technical Institute.
Justin Loan, a senior who is in his second year of the program, said that the donation will “help students learn how to build and rebuild engines.”
“We always appreciate donations from other entities because we are trying to run expensive programs with limited resources and this will be valuable to students by giving them additional hands-on resources and opportunities,” said Rick Weaver, Career and Technical Education Supervisor for Montgomery County Public Schools.
HEVT always looks for ways to give back to the community and the team was glad that it had the opportunity to help out a local school!