Square One, Kettering Team Up Again for Fall Kickoff event and Spring 2021 IVD Challenge

We are thrilled to partner with Kettering University to host this event in their state-of-the-art MRC.”

Barb Land, Executive Director of Square One Education Network

While the global pandemic of COVID-19 may have caused the cancellation of this month’s Square One 2020 Innovative Vehicle Design Challenge (IVD), high school students and teachers from around the state will still have an opportunity to show off their automotive engineering skills later and get a sneak peek into next year’s competition.

In partnership with Square One Education Network, a Michigan-based non-profit educational organization focused on developing talent for the future workforce, Kettering University will host a Fall Kickoff event at the campus’ Mott Center on September 29. 

While not able to compete, high school students who already have built and designed a vehicle intended for this year’s competition will be able to display their projects while their teachers will be able to interact with Square One program directors and Executive Director Barb Land to learn more about how they can prepare students for the Spring 2021 IVD Challenge to be held again next year at Kettering University’s Mobility Research Center (MRC).

“We are thrilled to partner with Kettering University to host this event in their state-of-the-art MRC,” said Land. This leading edge facility offers our students an authentic experience and a look into the real world research conducted by University students and industry leaders alike. The MRC provides every amenity we could ask for including well-maintained and smooth driving surfaces, varied terrain, electricity, office and garage space and restrooms as well as an outstanding staff.”  

In 2019, Kettering University’s MRC was announced as the new home of Square One Education Network IVD Challenge. The annual, one-of-a-kind competition brings up to 1,000 high schoolers and their instructors from around Michigan. Representative teams from more than 40 high schools participated in last year’s event (click here to see video). 

Next spring’s IVD Challenge will include three categories of competition:

  • Full-scale IVD - A single person electric vehicle built for endurance and efficiency. This recently added a V2I component where the students will drive past beacons and need to have their vehicle detect an encoded message via Bluetooth.
  • Mini IVD – Re-gear - A 1/10 scale model remote control vehicle from either 4-wheel drive to 2-wheel drive, or from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive. The vehicle goes through both an agility course as well as a speed run. Recently, the competition added in a component where the teams drive the R/C car towards a Styrofoam wall and the vehicle has to stop itself before running into the wall.
  • Autonomous IVD - Re-engineer a PowerWheels Jeep to a fully autonomous vehicle. The teams need to both program the code to have the vehicle go through several different driving courses, attach sensors and re-engineer the driving functions for fully autonomous capabilities.

“The components of Square One’s IVD programming are relevant to what engineers in industry are working on right now — connected, electrified and automated vehicles. We believe that their programming inspires and engages young people to pursue course work and careers in the STEM fields,” said Kip Darcy, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Marketing. 

In partnership with Square One Education Network, Kettering University awards renewable scholarships worth up to $5,000 per year. Eligible applicants for the Kettering University Mobility and Vehicle Competition Scholarship include those who have participated in previous Square One, Shell Eco-Marathon, Autocross, Innovative Vehicle Design or similarly-themed activities. Applications will be accepted Sept. 15, 2020, through Feb. 1, 2021. For more requirements and information, go to kettering.edu/admissions/scholarships-kettering.

For more information and updates on the Fall Kickoff event or the IVD Challenge, contact Michael Ciesielski at mciesielski@kettering.edu