One very important part of the EcoCAR 2 competition is outreach to students in grades K-12. The Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team organizes events at local schools or invites students tot he PSU AVT garage to educate the students on EcoCAR 2 and Penn State’s involvement with the competition. Young students are still exploring various areas of interest and by introducing EcoCAR 2 goals and themes to the students, the team is opening up awareness into the field of Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and all the exciting opportunities that are available. It is extremely important to educate and excite the students in the field so it can have an impact on their future.
The younger students at the outreach events see the team presenters as positive role models. When the younger students see their passion for science and the environment, they become inspired to find their own passion–even if it isn’t in the same field. The EcoCAR 2 team shows these students how you can take an interest and make it into a career. The team proves that learning can be fun and teaches the students to explore new things.
At typical K-12 events, the PSU AVT team will bring a competition vehicle to show students, as well as plan activities and presentations. Various activities include building K’NEX vehicle models, hydrogen fuel cell cars, solar panel car kits, a Bio-Energy ethanol kit, Energy Bingo, coloring pages, word searches, and reading several books. Past school districts we have presented to include State College, Altoona, Hollidaysburg, Bald Eagle, and Penns Valley. In addition, if you would like the Penn State team to come to your school, please email our Communications Manager Taylor Kidd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional materials, including lesson plans and activities for K-12, please visit the U.S. Energy Information Administration, GM Educational Experience, Argonne National Laboratory, or Earth 911.
Please consider taking our teacher survey so we can better tailor our outreach presentations to your students. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.