The EcoCAR teams were up early today to prepare for one of the main events at the Winter Workshop – the judged poster presentations that detail the teams’ vehicle unveiling outreach. Last fall, each team organized various outreach activities when the GM-donated vehicles were delivered. After reviewing the posters that reflected the teams’ media results, it was evident that the students learned a lot while educating their communities about advanced vehicle technologies.
The Penn State EcoCAR team had a particularly successful unveiling due to their effective use of social media.
“Our vehicle unveiling event was early in the morning,” said the Penn State team’s outreach coordinator, Dana Bubonovich. “I sent a tweet out about the event and it was picked up by Penn State’s blog, OnwardState.com, within 10 minutes. Then the local news station saw it and sent a reporter to cover our event. It just shows the power of social media.”
In addition to the outreach posters, the Engineering Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) had to prepare posters about the research they’re conducting during their fellowship this year.
Kevin Martin, an engineering management graduate student from Missouri S&T, is focusing his research on how EcoCAR can be used as a learning tool in the classroom. Missouri S&T is using aspects of the EcoCAR competition in many classes, such as business, mechanical engineering, engineering management and education.
“I’m learning how to manage firsthand since I’m the team leader,” said Martin. “Working on a team this diverse really teaches you how to communicate effectively with people from all different fields. It’s something that is hard to learn unless you are work in a team environment like EcoCAR. ”
The outreach poster winners were announced and Mississippi State took third place, Texas Tech took second, and the University of Victoria won first place honors! The Engineering GRA posters are being judged today and tomorrow and the winners will be announced on Saturday.
Lynda Palombo from Natural Resources Canada who is the event captain for the outreach judged activities during the competition was impressed by the poster presentations. “While all the teams presented great outreach posters, the top three teams really showcased the teams’ professional and unique vehicle unveiling events,” she said.