Ford Funds Creation of Electric Vehicle Summer Camp
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Michigan-based Ford Motor Company is donating $32,000 to introduce high schoolers in its community to the science of electric vehicles. The program will become part of a summer camp run by Kettering University, a Flint-based institution that offers programs in engineering, mathematics, business and science. The new Flint Schools Summer Day Camp will take place in July 2017 and be open to 20 high school students.
The camp will help students learn about and create model electric vehicles. The funding will cover registration fees, supplies and transportation for the students.
The idea for the camp came about when a father who works at Ford came with his son to a computer engineering camp held at the university last summer. Prashant Javkar manages Ford's STEAM Experience strategy and programs, which for three decades has supported programs to engage students in STEAM careers.
"When I visited the campus, I loved the energy of the close-knit community of students and had a fun time witnessing the camp participants compete in the concluding challenge," Javkar said in a prepared statement. That visit, he added, "reinforced the fact that there was a great opportunity to design a summer camp for the Flint community students."
Bob Nichols, who directs the FIRST Robotics Community Center at Kettering, said he was "blown away" when the carmaker approached him to sponsor the summer camp. "I was impressed that they recognized the value of the STEM learning opportunities at the camps," he noted. "There's no secret Ford is so involved in STEM. This allows them to make an impact in the Flint community."
Besides the STEM activities, the camp will also offer SAT training to students, according to Nichols.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.