Students Design and Build Your Own Electric Vehicles

EVolocity programme lets students build and race electric vehicles

Auckland high school students  get the chance to design and build their own electric vehicles, thanks to a new programme launched on 9 March.

Rob McEwen, Executive Director of EVolocity, says the programme has a couple of key objectives. “It’s partly about opening young people’s eyes to the possibilities of engineering careers. But it’s also about turning the next generation of drivers onto electric vehicles so that when they’re ready to buy their first car, they already understand how electric vehicles work and what their performance and environmental benefits are.”

The programme includes tutoring assistance as well as regional and national competitions.

EVolocity is supported in the Auckland region by major sponsors The University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering and Unitec. Kevin Sowerby, Head of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland, says, “The EVolocity programme is an excellent mechanism for engaging high school students in engineering (and STEM subjects in general). Just like professional engineers, EVolocity participants will enjoy meeting exciting technical challenges through teamwork and creativity while exercising their growing knowledge and skill.”

Associate Professor Melanie Ooi, Head of Engineering at Unitec, says that EVolocity is a great example of project-based learning in schools. She says that being a sponsor gives Unitec an opportunity to showcase their facilities and expertise to the participants, as well as inspiring young people to think about how exciting a future in engineering can be.

“Today, with all of the health and safety regulations, a lot of engineering takes place behind closed doors and is not accessible to young people. EVolocity makes it both accessible and exciting,” says Ms Ooi.

EVolocity is working with the Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre to facilitate the regional programme. This means participants will learn about the sustainability advantages of electric transportation while also being exposed to broader aspects of sustainability.

Engineering mentors for the school teams will be sourced through Futureintech, an initiative of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

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