The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) and the National Research Center for Coal and Energy (NRCCE) at West Virginia University will host a traveling electric vehicle education exhibit Thursday, Nov. 8, at NAFTC s headquarters and training facility in Sabraton.
Local officials, educators and students are being invited to tour the mobile classroom and learn more about how to participate in EV Challenge.
“Its a cutting-edge educational program that involves students in a real world projectthe conversion of a full-size gasoline-powered vehicle into a fully functioning, energy efficient, non-polluting electric vehicle,”said Trina Karolchik Wafle, associate director of the NRCCE .
“Students use the converted vehicle as the centerpiece of a school and community-wide educational program,”said Al Ebron, executive director of the NAFTC . Besides actually converting a vehicle and testing it, students also develop web pages, perform oral presentations for community groups, conduct environmental research and write articles for the local newspaper, he noted.
At the end of the year-long program, students come together in Raleigh, N.C., for a finale and celebration where they test their skills against each other in a two-day celebration.
The mobile classroom visiting Morgantown is a 24-foot retrofitted vehicle transporter that features informational displays, an interactive electric vehicle component board, a Junior Solar Sprint vehicle, an EV Challenge video production and a student-converted electric Triumph Spitfire.
“The mobile classroom is the only exhibit of its kind in the nation,”said Ralph Goodwin, chairman of the EV Challenge steering committee.”By bringing electric vehicle education out into the community, the classroom helps the EV Challenge meet its mission of educating people about clean fuel technologies in an exciting and motivating way.”
EV Challenge was originally designed and implemented by teachers in North Carolina. Under a grant from the U.S. EPA , the program is now expanding to five new states, including West Virginia.
EV Challenge schools have built 52 electric vehicles since 1993. The program is supported by a diverse group of government, industry and non-profit partners.