PODCAST 118: Students Answer the EV Challenge with Steve Garrett

EV Challenge Participants, Students, Teachers, Teams with their electric cars on a track.

We’re delighted to invite on this episode Steve Garret, the Executive Director for an organization called EV Challenge.  Steve has been a high school teacher for 27 years at Topsail High School in Hampstead, North Carolina and recently took over as Executive Director for EV Challenge.  He teaches engineering courses at Cape Fear Community College. PODCASTListen

The Logo for EV Challenge

EV Challenge was established in the 1990s to energize high school students about engineering through a real world electric vehicle program.   They do this by building real, full-size plug-in electric vehicles and participating in a yearlong educational program and competition.  It’s designed to help students learn numerous skills, including applied engineering and environmental science, electrical troubleshooting, public speaking, and community service.

EV Challenge Participants - Students Building, Modifying and Racing electric car conversions.Steve takes us through the types of challenges students face in the EV Challenge, including a technical and electrical inspection, a vehicle design judging, an EV Jeopardy challenge answering questions about EVs and electronics.  There is also a troubleshooting event where the judges create faults on an electronic simulator and students have to solve them.  There is an AutoCross event, sponsored and run by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).  Finally there is a range test on the same course.  There is also an oratorical competition where students give 3-5 minute speeches on current event topics.  The last event is an ongoing program called School Initiative, which gives points for doing public awareness and outreach, like speeches, newsletters and other activities that help spread the word about the EV Challenge.

Students troubleshooting with an electronic simulator, part of the EV Challenge. Steve said the EV Challenge is looking for more teams and talked about the types of teams and schools, which range from technical high schools to home school programs.  Teams have come to North Carolina from as far away as Florida and Iowa.  He also shares his experience and ways of recruiting more students for engineering, especially women, which has been a popular topic in the news recently.

Steve went on to talk about how this year they are piloting a newly proposed Electrathon Based Program called the cSTEM cycle challenge that will be presented at the EV Challenge final event next April 4-6th.  The STEM Cycle will allow students to compete in the EV Challenge events, but it will also include task-based challenges, like hill climbing or a mud bog, challenges that will change every year.

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About Alex Campbell
“Alex” is a creative writer, editor, blogger, and digital marketing professional seeking freelance opportunities in marketing, communications, social media, public relations, investor relations, government relations, sales and service. Offers over 20 years experience elevating brands, sharing stories and driving sales for interesting, innovative and disruptive products, services and new technologies.

One Response to PODCAST 118: Students Answer the EV Challenge with Steve Garrett

  1. Pingback: PODCAST 118: Students Answer the EV Challenge | EV Challenge

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