Odyssey Day Fun at West Virginia University

Blog written by Chelsea Betts, Communication Manager for the West Virginia University EcoCAR 3 team

West Virginia University. Its home to Mountaineer football, actor Don Knotts, and Jerry West – the famous basketball star whose silhouette decorates the NBA logo. But did you know that West Virginia University (WVU) is also home to the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium?

WVU started the NAFTC in 1992 under contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since its creation, the goal of the organization has been to educate the nation about the importance of alternative transportation technologies and support technicians in the field.

Every two years, the NAFTC hosts what is known as the National Alternative Vehicle Day, often referred to as “Odyssey Day.” Lucky for the WVU team, the NAFTC is right in their backyard.

WVU EcoCAR 3 team members posing in front of their Odyssey Day Display at the Statler College of Engineering on October 15, 2014.

WVU EcoCAR 3 team members posing in front of their Odyssey Day Display at the Statler College of Engineering on October 15, 2014.

Odyssey Day is a celebration of the future in alternative fuel technologies, something that the WVU EcoCAR 3 team knows a lot about. To spread the word to other students on campus, the team decided to educate them not only about EcoCAR 3, but how students can work together with organizations like the NAFTC to limit environmental impact and create a better tomorrow.

After hours of preparation, the day of the event had finally arrived. Even though it was moved inside due to weather implications, several students and faculty flocked to the team’s creative spinning wheel for a chance to play trivia. Spin after spin, students answered questions about EcoCAR, General Motors, the NAFTC, and the Chevy Camaro in an effort to win candy – and bragging rights of course! The spinning trivia wheel wasn’t the only thing to capture student attention. The NAFTC brought three hybrid-electric vehicles, including a Chevy Volt, to showcase and students were lining up for a chance to climb inside.

The WVU team was amazed to see how much students already knew about hybrid-electric technology and how excited they were to learn more. By the end of the day, the WVU team even had several students interested in joining the team!

It is the team’s goal to continue reaching out to students regardless of their major, and the excitement of transforming a Chevy Camaro into a hybrid-electric car is helping do just that.

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