Questions we’re exploring
1. How can we utilize advanced technologies in high school automotive programs to increase exposure and accessibility for students?
We have introduced advanced technologies in several different ways into high school automotive programs. We are interested in the outcomes for students, actual engagement with and exposure to the technologies and in finding the best ways to integrate them into existing curricula. Given that the students of today will likely be working with this tech, we feel it is relevant and important to understand how to make it accessible and interesting for their learning.
2. How can we better understand women’s educational and career pathways in the automotive industry to improve outcomes for professional development?
The purpose of this research is to investigate women’s perceptions of the impact of gender on career pathways in the automotive industry. Through an examination of women’s personal backgrounds and educational experiences we aim to better understand their current positions and future career goals within the field. In doing so, we hope to further inform the research about barriers and pathways to careers in the automotive industry for women.
3. What types of experiences can we co-design with students to give them exposure to the ‘real world’ work going on in automotive tech?
Getting students outside of the automotive workshop and into the real world may give them a host of benefits. Face-to-face time may highlight possible pathways to successful career paths and expand student understanding of the automotive industry. We are curious what types of experiences might spark student passion and interest.
Taking students to Formula Drift
In 2017, for the second year in a row, we combined our love of learning and cars to design an out-of-state educational field trip for local automotive students and their instructors. This year, we went to Formula Drift and The Petersen Automotive Museum.
Breaking the Circuit
The Northshore Automotive Technology Program students and teacher have undertaken a tremendous challenge: To set a world record for an AC powered dragster. This is not a project typically undertaken by high school students, but under the guidance of their teacher, these students rose to the challenge. Breaking the Circuit tells the story of this ambitious group and their race car.
Connecting Students to Experts - Long Beach
One important component of our automotive program involves opportunities for novices and experts to intersect. We want students to have the opportunity to learn from professionals in fields of interest so the students can better understand what a career might look like in that area. Last year we took high school students from the Northshore Automotive program to Laguna Seca to learn from racing experts at an IMSA race and found it to be a valuable experience for both the students and teachers. This year, we are gearing up to take automotive students from two programs, the Northshore Automotive program and the Sno-Isle Tech Center to Long Beach, as well as their instructors to California for “The Streets of Long Beach” a Formula D racing event.
We surveyed students earlier this year to discover what types of automotive experiences would be most valuable for them to experience and learn about in more depth. They expressed a great deal of interest in the science and art of drift racing. We are currently finishing up the design of this year’s trip to Long Beach, but it will involve opportunities to intersect with a variety of racing professionals, in technical and related fields, as well as a tour of the renowned Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
We have already closed the application cycle and are in the process of interviewing interested high school students. We are really excited about this fantastic learning opportunity for the students and their teachers!
Electric Drag Racer in the Press
We are excited to share that the students at Bothell High School, their instructor Pat McCue, and the work they have done on the electric drag racer have been featured in the Seattle Times, Northwest News, and the Bothell Reporter!
Laguna Seca and Canepa
To find out more about what drives student passion for auto, we brought a group of high school students who are enrolled in automotive programs to Laguna Seca and Canepa in California.
Pat McCue of Northshore on Cars Yeah
Automotive teacher at Bothell High School appeared on the popular Cars Yeah podcast to talk about the student experience working on the car, partnering with foundry10, and his life as an auto teacher.
Our automotive programs from 2015/2016 include an electric drag racer and some Model-T hot rods. You can check out more about the auto programs we ran last school year on our auto overview.