In Sebastopol, California there is an innovative electric vehicle education program happening, however this particular program is involving high schoolers. The EV Chassis Lab Program, under the direction of Switch Vehicles Inc, is having high school STEM students design, build, and operate electric vehicles themselves. This is a one-semester 16 week program that has an organized curriculum led by trained teachers which included circuitry, mechanics, automotive suspension, computer programming, CAD design, manufacturing, design and assemble of frame components, wiring, and electronics. Above all else, this program also shows students how to build a car with alternate forms of energy.
Mike Johnson, an automotive instructor who is interested in engaging more students in this program recently said in a press release, “…What better way to teach auto engineering than to build a car? The way things are going, we need to look at alternate fuel cars… this is good for students to learn.”
Considering this type of vehicle uses considerably less natural resources to manufacture and energy to drive compared to a typical gasoline vehicle, I think this program is teaching the kids more than simply how to build a car. It teaches them how much more beneficial it is to drive an alternative fuel powered, more sustainable car and what the process is like. If this program were to spread to more high schools educating students on this topic it will open their minds to alternative fuel cars and possibly make them more inclined “switch” to electric vehicles when they are older. After all, aren’t children are future?