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Board # 61 : Engaging Middle and High School Students in Learning STEM through Electric Vehicles

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Technology Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Pam Page Carpenter NC State University

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Pam Page Carpenter, Ed.D. is Director of Education programs for the National Science Foundation Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center headquartered at NC State University. She has developed and led K-20 programs in renewable energy and alternative transportation with a focus on and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She is an adjunct associate professor in the Technology, Engineering, and Design department at NC State and earned her doctorate in Technology, Engineering, and Design in the College of Education at NC State University.

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Nasim Lari


Erik Schettig Wake County Public School System

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Erik is a Technology, Engineering, and Design teacher at Middle Creek High School in Apex, NC. He is a Kenan Fellow and has worked extensively with energy related curriculum.

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David Matthew Sander Wake Forest High School

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BS in Technology Education from North Carolina State University with a minor in Science, Technology, & Society 1995
Technology Education Teacher - Wake Forest High School 1995-Present
Air Force Outstanding Teacher Award 2003
ITEEA Program Excellence Award 2007
Wake Electric Tarheel Teacher of the Year 2014

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Transportation is an area that all students can relate to and specifically, clean transportation contributing to a better environment. In 2009 an electric vehicle transportation education program was established for middle and high school students to immerse and engage them in learning about electric transportation. The purpose of the program is to prepare middle and high school students to become informed and engaged in learning about the electrification of transportation, battery technologies and storage, and aligned with STEM standards. The program provides teacher training and curricula on Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs), hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, Smart Grid and careers in science, engineering, and technology as it relates to the automotive and the supporting infrastructure. The program has had an impact on over 1,200 students and teachers since its inception. The program's curricula is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that includes problem-solving, critical thinking and inquiry-based learning with relevance to real world issues. The program includes a hands-on component, which includes 1/10 scale model PEV radio control vehicles with students learning about battery technologies, powertrain, chassis design and other related topics. Students apply this knowledge to design and fabricate an electric vehicle and solar charging station. Each year the program holds a teachers’ workshop in early fall and as a support mechanism, training videos were created to ensure that teachers had access to the hands-on application after they completed the workshop. There is an annual competition with a range, speed, design, and plug-in with a focus on battery technologies and charging from the students’ designed solar charging stations. Part of the program and competition includes developing students’ soft skills (communications both oral and written), decision-making, vehicle design, leadership, and teamwork. Students learn STEM through relevant and real world application in the program. In 2017 the program will be exploring data on girls’ interest in engineering careers and their perspective on electric vehicles.

Carpenter, P. P., & Lari, N., & Schettig, E., & Sander, D. M. (2017, June), Board # 61 : Engaging Middle and High School Students in Learning STEM through Electric Vehicles Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27890

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