“Kettering has a 100-year legacy in automotive and mobility industries. These are students who would thrive here as undergraduates.”
Kettering University will host the Square One Education Network’s 16th Annual Innovative Vehicle Design (IVD) Challenges on May 16 at the Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center (MRC) in Flint.
Sixty middle and high school teams will compete. Kicking off at 9 a.m., the event includes demonstrations from V2X students who previously competed virtually and three separate competitions:
- Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge
- Mini Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge
- Full-Scale Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist will be on site from 2 to 3 p.m. to speak with students and wave the flag to start the Mini Innovative Vehicle and Full-Scale Innovative Vehicle races.
The Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge project tasks students with re-engineering a Power Wheels Jeep into an autonomous vehicle. The Mini Innovative Vehicle Design Racing Challenge requires teams to re-engineer an electric 1/10th-scale RC vehicle for optimal performance. The Full-Scale Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge involves transforming a gas-powered go-kart kit into an electric or hybrid electric vehicle or building an electric or hybrid car from the ground up. Vehicles must feature an innovative component that sets them apart.
“Square One students are problem solvers. They’re working on things like sensors and controls, autonomous development, vehicle efficiency—just like the biggest mobility-focused companies in the world—and they’re learning these concepts and applications in a hands-on way, in collaborative teams, with real deadlines and budgets, just like Kettering students and just like professional engineers,” said Scott Travis, Kettering University Director of Specialty Admissions. “Kettering has a 100-year legacy in automotive and mobility industries. These are students who would thrive here as undergraduates.”
Square One is a Michigan-based non-profit educational organization focused on developing talent in under-resourced communities and growing the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce for tomorrow. Through partnerships with higher education institutions and the industry, Square One empowers teachers and students with hands-on learning experiences around high-quality STEM projects.
This is the fourth year the University has partnered with Square One to host the event.
“Square One’s Innovative Vehicle Design program provides youth with a real-world, relevant experience that not only builds their skills in science, technology, engineering and math but also builds their awareness for college and career pathways to a brighter future for themselves and for Michigan’s role as a leader in the future mobility industry,” said Barb Land, CEO of Square One Education Network.
New this year is a career expo that will take place the morning of the event. Exhibitors expected to showcase their opportunities include the Michigan Department of Transportation, WSP, AECOM, Washtenaw Community College, Integral Blue and the Michigan Works! Association.
Leaders in mobility will give remarks in the morning, including Glenn Stevens, Executive Director of MICHauto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber; Tim Slusser, Chief of Mobility Innovation in the City of Detroit’s Office of Mobility Innovation; and Elaina Farnsworth, Chief Executive Officer of the NEXT Education.
In his role, Stevens leads the MICHauto program in its efforts to promote, grow, and retain Michigan’s automotive and next-generation mobility industries. Slusser directs the development of public and private partnerships and informs policies related to various mobility initiatives and deployments. At NEXT Education, people receive certification and training to upskill or reskill to become the workers of tomorrow in fields such as vehicle electrification, industrial mobility, cybersecurity and smart city technologies.