The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) recently paid a visit to Driftwood Park Public School in Kitchener, Ontario, to present to grade five and six students about EcoCAR 2 and alternative fuels for the future.
Approximately 140 students along with their parents and teachers gathered in the gymnasium, where UWAFT Director of Outreach Mark Goody conducted a one hour presentation about UWAFT, the EcoCAR 2 competition and other important environment and energy related issues. The students also had a chance to view UWAFT’s team introduction video which highlights the importance of Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) and unveils the architecture UWAFT will implement into its 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. Goody spent time explaining to the students how UWAFT’s EcoCAR will work and highlighting its benefits.
“I was astonished by how much these students knew about global warming and climate change and the use of alternative fuels in vehicles,” said Goody. “Almost every question I asked, more than half of the students raised their hand to answer.” To put their knowledge into perspective, over 75% of the class knew what a hybrid electric vehicle was and certain students were even able to provide some examples of how they work and what models currently exist, such as the Chevrolet Volt.
The presentation concluded with students calculating their own carbon footprint. Several students volunteered to calculate their carbon emissions by using an online ‘carbon calculator’ to illustrate what impact they have on the environment. The students with the lowest carbon footprint were those that walked to school and spent their holidays within the province. The students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and asked question after question. UWAFT believes in the importance of engaging students at an early age to become knowledgeable about important environmental issues, as these are the up and coming leaders of the next generation!