USU STARS! GEAR UP Students Exhibit Skills at Greenpower Event
On Saturday, students from eleven schools in Utah and Nevada converged on the Historic Wendover Airfield for an exhibition event using the one-person electric cars they have been working on for months. Also on exhibition were the skills it took to get them ready for competition.
The Greenpower Electric Car Challenge is all about teaching engineering principles to students. The event is for schools in the USU STARS! GEAR UP program, which prepares teens—many of whom are potential first-generation college students—for higher education. The goal is to simultaneously get students excited about science, technology, engineering and math, and for the higher education needed for careers in STEM. USU STARS! is a federally funded program that was designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college.
GEAR UP competitors from ten Utah schools and one school in Nevada drove their cars on a designated course at the airfield using two 12-volt batteries. The object of the competition was to go the greatest distance possible on that limited amount of power.
The challenge, designed by the Greenpower USA Foundation, is sponsored by Siemens, a global technology company interested in promoting education and creating a viable, sustainable future for communities. In addition to teaching engineering concepts, Greenpower also teaches students to problem-solve, which is an important component of engineering. Students are learning to work together as teams, demonstrate leadership, make decisions, communicate and become technically literate—which are all skills they will likely draw from for the rest of their lives.