Author: Felicia Blair
The Students from the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center and Math, Science and Technology Centers have done it again. Students have collaborated on a two-year Engineering Team project that was sponsored through the Square One Network.
The Innovative Vehicle Design Program asks that students used their combined knowledge of math, science, engineering and technology to either produce a traditional electric car ultra-light design battery operated single passenger car or a hybrid version of the vehicle. Teams use their vehicles on a distance track race and endurance car to showcase their creation and then are put to the test of displaying their sales and marketing talents at the SAE Convergence International Trade Show which was held at COBO Hall this year. The Trade Show lasts two days and students meet with CEO’s, Engineers, judges and other different area professionals from around the globe to discuss their projects and talents.
There are many different components for judging this competition including the students’ abilities to market the program as well as the teams Ambassadorship abilities. These abilities are demonstrated by their effectiveness in teaching other students, mainly at the middle school level, several math and science skills. The goal behind this is that Square One wants to strengthen the programs in math, science, engineering and technology. By attaining this students will have the opportunity to connect with other students with similar professional careers interests as well as form powerful and beneficial professional relationships with mentors at the local and national levels. Celebrating and showcasing the efforts and talents of students in projects and competitions such as these is the goal and purpose of Square One which has formally been known as the Convergence Foundation. The MOCC/MSTC Team, who has also been known as Zero Resources, has proudly earned six trophies this year as a result of their success.
As a part of Zero Resources’ idea to go green with their project, they have constructed a hybrid vehicle that runs on bio-diesel fuel to power the electric motor. This vehicle was engineered for speed while keeping conservation and ecology also as a close concern. Students have been working nonstop during the school year and into the summer months to prepare and design parts by hand for their eco-friendly vehicle. Although this hybrid vehicle was primarily the idea and design of the students, they did receive assistance from their Team Leader Mr. Doug Ward. Director Dr. Jennifer L. Harrison, Ph.D. says that Mr. Doug Ward has taught students “how to problem-solve, prototype a design, rework and solve design issues, mill and machine parts and even powder coat the finished product.”
In the Ambassador portion of their project Zero Resources has estimated that 1,440 students have viewed their booth at Mecosta-Osceola Career and Technical Education Center’s “Mini-Career Expos” and have also visited all six LEAs. Mecosta-Osceola is the first tech center to offer open enrollment to all and as a result there are students in many counties that attend the tech center. This collaboration of knowledge from different areas has only made the center and TEAM Zero Resources more successful. The Team has used this as an advantage and decided to hit the street to inform other students with their common interest of renewable energy during the ISD-Wide “Career Expo” events. Director Dr. Jennifer L. Harrison, Ph.D. says that “the Zero Resources Team has found a new appreciation for many natural resources in Mecosta and Osceola counties and they are motivated to preserve them. Engineering students and the Zero Resources Team collaborated with the Work-Based Learning staff and brought science on a road show tour to all 6 (Reed City, Chippewa Hills, Crossroads Charter Academy, Big Rapids, Evart, and Morley-Stanwood) school districts.”
Director Dr. Jennifer L. Harrison, Ph.D. and Team Leader Mr. Doug Ward are very impressed with Team Zero Resources advances and their demonstration of converting used vegetable oil into useable diesel fuel to power an engine. With advancements in technology such as these who knows what the Students from the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center and Math, Science and Technology Centers with design the next time around. Congratulations to Zero Resources on their environmentally friendly hybrid vehicle.