Grant Trains California Auto Shop Teachers in Electric Car Assembly
February 11, 2015 Leave a comment
Electric Auto Shop Course Brings Alternative Fuels into the Classroom
Electric Auto Shop, Inc. (www.electricautoshop.com) received a grant from the Fresno County Office of Education to enable eleven automotive instructors from throughout California to attend specialized training in electric car assembly January 26-30 in Sebastopol, California.
Costs for the five-day course were covered under the California Industrial Technology Education Project (CITEP), which is a contract held by the Fresno Regional Occupational Program from the California Department of Education. The project is responsible for program development, support, and professional development activities related to industrial technology education sectors, including transportation, while gathering and promoting examples of best practices.
“It’s a great class,” said Ronnie Harwell, automotive instructor at Maria Carrillo High School. “Having worked with a vehicle conversion, this vehicle as far as a teaching tool for your students, is much easier, much more user-friendly… Also, you have to balance the cost… to take it apart… you can use it multiple times a year and multiple classes.” A video is available with interviews from several instructors.
“Invaluable,” says Raj Dhillon of Saddleback College. “If you want to progress your students or encourage your students in what’s going to be out there in the next 10-15 years, you’ve got come and do this class.”
Electric Auto Shop designs courses and curricula that teach about advanced vehicle technologies. Applicable from grade school to university, courses integrate the latest STEM-based teaching criteria (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). The hands-on courses begin at the introductory level and lead to more advanced topics so instructors can teach it in their own classrooms.
“We’ve seen 3 or 4 different uses that we can use the chassis for: alignment shop; brakes/alignment/suspension; computer controls, we can do a lot of different things with that one platform. So, we’re enthused and we’d like add one to our budget,” said Mark Barrall from College of Marin.
Electric Auto Shop presented at the 2014 Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento, and at the California Technical Education Conference in Rancho Mirage. The Forestville, California based company offers coursework and kits for go-karts as well as full-sized, street-legal vehicles. Many of the schools that participate compete in alternative fuel vehicle competitions like the California Energy Invitational in Irvine.
“Thank you to Fresno County for helping to retrain high school teachers to take on this important challenge in our nation’s schools,” said Michael Mack of Electric Auto Shop. “It gave teachers from throughout California an opportunity to gain a foothold in the new technology-based curricula emerging in our schools.”