This past Thursday marked the first official Education Day for EcoCAR 2 teams! Throughout the competition series, EcoCAR teams get the opportunity to present to K-12 students at workshop locations. For the 2012 Winter Workshop in Austin, Texas, EcoCAR 2 teams had the opportunity to present to both middle and high school students at Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and Covington Middle School in Austin, Texas.
“It was a great experience to talk to an all-female middle school,” said Dylan Schmitter, the outreach coordinator for Purdue University. “I have never presented to an audience that big, but the students seemed really interested in advanced vehicle technology competitions (AVTCs).”
AVTC Mechanical Engineer, Nicole Lambiase, spoke to the female middle school students at Ann Richards Middle School about her career path in science and engineering. “The students asked great questions,” said Lambiase. “It was really encouraging to see them have such a big interest in science and math at an early age.”
Several EcoCAR 2 teams also presented to high school female students currently enrolled in an engineering elective at Ann Richards School.
“I was both impressed with and proud to stand alongside the group of EcoCAR outreach students,” said John Haraf, Director of Hybrid Vehicle Integration and Controls for General Motors. “In my mind, outreach like that is needed to help foster awareness of advanced propulsion technology in our younger students and determine the role it will play in setting the stage for the future of our automotive industry. I truly believe they have an impact on the lives and future careers of many students.”
As a surprise for the students, Haraf brought along a Chevrolet Volt and talked to students about different hybrid architectures, about the Volt, and the future of the automobile industry.
Teams switched gears during the afternoon and headed to Covington Middle school to present to a middle school tech class. The students enjoyed the presentation and a few commented that they couldn’t wait to attend college and become an engineer!
At the end of the day, outreach coordinators were able to meet with more than 250 students in the Austin area. EcoCAR 2 would like to thank Ann Richards School and Covington Middle School for allowing the program to present to their students!