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Extracurricular Education And Experimental Course Using Electric Vehicles

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.495.1 - 6.495.6

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Haruo Sakamoto

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Extracurricular Education and Experimental Course Using Electric Vehicles

Haruo Sakamoto Dept. of Intelligent Mech. Sys. Engr. Kochi University of Technology Tosayamada-cho, Kochi 782, Japan Email:

is the Electric Vehicle Rally. In August, 1998, the Shikoku Electric Vehicle Rally, organized by a committee of high school teachers and university faculties, was conducted in Shikoku, the smallest main ABSTRACT island in Japan. The rally is the first one in Japan for a car rally on This paper describes an attempt of engineering education in public roads. Three teams from the Kochi University of Technology extracurricular activities outside of class and an experimental course in challenged to join the race. The same rally was held in 2000, in Kochi, class using electric vehicles. The Kochi University of Technology was and 2 teams from Kochi University of Technology joined. In the inaugurated in April, 1997. Four years of engineering education trials winter of the 1998 financial year, the experimental course in class are reported. In 1997, 5 student teams participated in an eco-power started for 2nd year students. In experiments of material strength, strain race held in Kochi, Japan, with hand-made ecological vehicles. In the gage and accelerator measurements were performed using the electric summer, 1998, three teams challenged to participate in the Shikoku vehicles. In the following section, these educational activities and Electric Vehicle Rally using light-weight vehicles converted into course are reported. electric cars. Using such light-weight electric vehicles, a student experimental course in class was conducted in the winter, 1998. This paper reports these engineering education activities. In order to EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (OUT OF CLASS) Extracurricular activities, herein, mean the student activities out provide such an active learning opportunity, a learning environment is of class, and the credit is not given for the activities. Therefore, this needed rather than just teaching in classes. Education on does not relate to so-called first year design or capstone design manufacturing is considered to be of great importance as well as the conducted in class in the USA. basic sciences such as mathematics and physics. Kochi Eco-power Race in 1997 Each November, the Kochi Eco-power race is held. In the race, INTRODUCTION hand-made small vehicles compete in a manner similar to small In Japan, the engineering education system in universities has gasoline-powered car racing. The aim is based on both ecological and changed from general cultural courses in the preliminary periods of economical standpoints. In Japan, the Suzuka race by Honda or the the 1st and 2nd years to ones mixed with engineering science and mileage marathon race by Shell Oil are famous as small gasoline- design courses in the same years. However, the basic idea of education powered car racing. Although the Kochi Eco-power Race is local, has still been based on fundamental courses in the 1st and 2nd years. more than 50% of the vehicles are from outside of Shikoku, one of the Professional courses follow in the 3rd and 4th years. Most fundamental four main islands. courses seem boring for engineering students since the courses do not relate to real technology. If students have an opportunity to observe the real engineering world in their early years of university life, it is expected that they will more realistically understand engineering science and design courses. The Kochi University of Technology was opened in April, 1997. The univesity has been trying a new engineering education such as first year seminars using real products1), computer assisted English education2)3), 3rd and 4th years’ synthetic education, and so on. In this report, engineering education in extracurricular activities out of class and an experimental course in class using electric vehicles are described. Two extracurricular activities were conducted. The first one is the Eco-power Race. In November, 1997, the Kochi Eco-power Race organized by Toyota Vista Kochi was held in Kochi, and five teams Figure 1 Kochi Eco-power Race from the Kochi University of Technology entered the race. The second The Kochi University of Technology started in 1997. While there was no experience and no information on how to make such vehicles at that time, five groups of 1st year students participated in the race

Sakamoto, H. (2001, June), Extracurricular Education And Experimental Course Using Electric Vehicles Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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