Team Tennessee recently gathered together to hear from Scott Curran, former team member and current research engineer at UTK and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Curran was team lead on Challenge X and is working with Victoria Kisluk, the outreach coordinator, as well as Team Tennessee to further our knowledge and perspective on this three-year-long competition and how outreach makes a huge impact on the experience.
Curran started the talk with everyone introducing him or herself and asked if anyone had questions about outreach. One team member, Boyd Culver, asked, “How does the entire team come into play when it comes to outreach? I thought it was just the outreach coordinator?”
Curran replied, “Outreach is not only a one person show. Each and everyone of you are outreach team members because you all represent and promote this competition from the day you signed up.”
Over the course of the presentation it became obvious that Team Tennessee was uniting on the outreach front. The inspiration as well as the do’s and don’ts shared by Curran made the team understand and put forth some ideas of what Team Tennessee could be doing, including holding recruiting events in the upcoming months.
Curran expressed the importance of making a united front. He wanted each member to brainstorm ways that Kisluk could help the team and its members. He brought up several key points: It is everyone’s job to take pictures or videos of events, if you hear an interesting idea or story, write it down and last but not least show off your accomplishments.
The presentation sparked the interest and ideas of team members. Team Tennessee was generating ideas and situations that were applicable to the project as well as how outreach comes into play when you least expect it. This truly helped the team understand that outreach and engineering combine to make a team grow to its potential.
At the conclusion, Curran asked asked if the team had any questions or if they learned something new. Members of the team sat and began talking amongst themselves. One member of the team, Travis Childress, came up with the idea of having an informational meeting to recruit potential new members. This idea began the evolution of events and ideas that Team Tennessee has developed for the remainder of this year as well as Years Two and Three.
Team Tennessee would like to thank Scott Curran, Grace Loy and Kristy Keel from East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition for being so helpful in this process. It is collaboration at its best. And as Team Tennessee’s new slogan says: Big Orange Big Ideas. The team is collaborating its school pride with the engineers of tomorrow to fulfill the messages and ideas of EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future.