Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Stimulate project based learning and innovation in electric transport among high school students

A new programme aiming to stimulate project based learning and innovation in electric transport, while also nurturing science, technology, engineering and mathematics interest among high school students is being launched in Canterbury and I encourage your support.
The programme, named EVolocity, has been developed by the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles (APEV). Electricity network company Orion is naming rights sponsor, while CPIT, Enviroschools and Electroflash are all partnering with APEV in the rollout of the programme.

At the high school level, student teams will have the option of building an electric motor controller to be fitted to an electric go kart for performance testing, and/or building an electric vehicle of their own design using a kitset of electric bike components.

At the tertiary and corporate levels, teams will have the option of building an electric car or motor bike, or entering in an innovation competition themed “Smart innovation in electric transport.”

Teams building vehicles will bring them to Mike Pero Motorsport Park (Ruapuna) on November 30 for competitions, as part of a day long programme featuring electric vehicles and offering public opportunities for test drives. Teams entering in the innovation competition will compete in a Dragon’s Den style event.

There are a number of things I like about this programme:
  • The most conservative numbers I’ve seen for growth in the electric vehicle sector project 80 million electrified vehicles on global roads by 2040, up from around 300,000 today. So this is a high growth sector with innovation and export opportunities in electronics, ICT, componentry and niche vehicles – a good fit for Canterbury 
  • Regardless of whether the high school team participants pursue a career or innovation path in electric vehicles, the programme is a novel way of engaging interest in science, technology, engineering and maths and encouraging more high schoolers to pursue related tertiary qualifications. 
  • It’s a good fit with the current aspirations of many Cantabrians – to see our city emerge from the rebuild as a 21st Century global exemplar.
APEV is seeking sponsors for the programme at various levels. Get in touch with Jake Miller – jake@apev.org.nz.

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