Hybrid Warriors visit Detroit high schools to discuss EcoCAR3
Last week, members of the Hybrid Warriors EcoCAR3 team visited two Detroit high schools to talk with students about the EcoCAR3 competition and the benefits of alternative fuels. Students at both Cass Technical and Renaissance High Schools were interested the EcoCAR3 team’s responsibility of transforming a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro (donated by General Motors) into a fully functional hybrid electric vehicle while maintaining its power and performance.
Project Manager Ali Hussein gave a presentation to a classroom of 30 high school students at Cass Tech. The presentation included the benefits of having a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and how STEM has applied to Hussein’s experience.
“Studying the fields of STEM is very important. Not only does it apply to the classroom, but it applies in a real-world setting also,” Hussein said during his presentation. “It’s important to take what you have learned in class and find a way to apply it to your work. That’s what I do every day with EcoCAR3—I learn about a theory and find a way to apply it.”
Trinity Johnson, a ninth grade student at Cass Tech, enjoyed the presentation and expects to attend Wayne State University. Johnson plans to study mechanical engineering and is excited to join the EcoCAR3 team in 2020.
“My favorite part of the presentation was how interactive it was and I love how you connected with everyone,” Johnson said. “I learned that even though you might not want to go into the automotive field, you can still join the project as a way to get exposure to the mechanical engineering. I definitely want to join the EcoCAR3 team.”
Members of the EcoCAR3 team met with Renaissance students in small groups during their lunch break at the school’s College and Career Center. The small group setting gave the EcoCAR3 members the opportunity to talk to students more on a personal level rather than in a presentation or lecture.
Renaissance robotics students told Hussein about their experiences with STEM and coding. James Whittaker, a junior and member of the robotics team, shared stories about his team’s competitions. “Our robotics team had to design, create, and code our robot to complete a series of tasks,” Whittaker said. “We have to make our robot do things like climb a rope and exit a maze. For the maze, we coded the robot to recognize colored sticky notes indicating which direction to turn to help it get it out of the maze.”
Hussein was pleased to hear about the Renaissance robotics team’s experiences. “Programs like robotics are awesome,” Hussein said. “You are able to apply the knowledge you learn in class to a real-world situation.”
Students at both Cass Tech and Renaissance asked Hussein for advice as they prepare to start college.
“Always find yourself within a project,” Hussein responded. “Find a hobby that you are interested in, learn about it, and apply it. That’s part of being an engineer—finding a problem and trying to solve it.”
About Hybrid Warriors
Wayne State University is one of 16 North American universities selected to compete in EcoCAR3. The Hybrid Warriors is a diverse student organization comprised of 42 members across the engineering, communications, and business disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the third year of the competition, the Hybrid Warriors must transform a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a fully functional hybrid electric vehicle. Hybrid Warriors aim to encourage green initiatives throughout the Detroit area and educate younger generations about the benefits of alternative fuels and STEM education.
Contact: Kim Gallagher, WSU EcoCAR3 Communications Manager