A student participates in the full-scale innovative vehicle design challenge.

Sixty-five middle and high school teams will compete at Square One Education Network’s 15th Annual Innovative Vehicle Design (IVD) Challenge on May 18 at the Kettering University GM Mobility Research Center (MRC).

The event kicks off at 9 a.m.

Although most of the participating teams are from Michigan, some come from Virginia and Texas. The IVD Challenge includes three separate competitions: 

  • Autonomous Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge
  • Mini Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge
  • Full-Scale Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge

“The 2022 Square One IVD competition will showcase the talent and ingenuity of today’s middle and high school students around science, technology, engineering and math,” said Barb Land, CEO of Square One Education Network. “Our IVD missions reflect challenges faced by real-world engineers around connected, autonomous and electric vehicle technology and expose kids to career pathways they may have never considered. These projects are the hooks that inspire kids to engage in STEM, growing the future, high-tech talent that industry needs.”

Square One is a Michigan-based non-profit educational organization focused on developing talent for the future workforce. 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.

“We are super excited to host Square One’s IVD Challenge Day at Kettering’s MRC,” said Scott Travis, Kettering University Director of Specialty Admissions. “We’re looking forward to seeing Square One students in action — their innovative designs, builds and on-the-spot troubleshooting skills. Examples of all kinds of mobility solutions will be on hand during the competition, but the value of a hands-on curriculum, project-based learning and collaboration will also be on display. There are so many obvious parallels between Square One and Kettering University — it’s a natural partnership. Our partners in the industry know it too.”

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 inspires teams to transform a gas-powered go-kart kit or build a car from the ground up into an electric or hybrid electric vehicle featuring an innovative component that sets it apart from the rest.  

Glenn Stevens, Executive Director of MICHauto and Vice President of Automotive and Mobility Initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber, will be on hand to give remarks in the morning. In his role, Stevens provides leadership to the MICHauto program in its efforts to promote, grow, and retain Michigan’s automotive and next-generation mobility industries.