PETERBOROUGH — Superintendent Kimberly Rizzo Saunders and Principal Heather McKillop are pleased to announce that ConVal Regional High School students will have the opportunity to build a street-legal electric car next year through the Region 14 Applied Technology Center (ATC).
ConVal High School students, as well as students from Conant High School in Jaffrey and Mascenic Regional High School in New Ipswich, will have the opportunity to build the electric car using the Switch Lab kit provided by the California-based company Switch Vehicles, Inc. The kit includes the chassis, alternating and direct current power systems, permanent magnet drive system, battery, all required wiring, lights, seats, seat belts and windscreen.
ATC Director Jen Kiley worked to bring this program to ConVal as a way for students in the different career and technical education programs to work together on a shared, hands-on assignment that would provide them real-life knowledge and skills. This project is grant-funded by the NH Department of Education through Perkins funding.
“We want students to be prepared for what’s coming next in whatever industry that they are interested in,” Kiley said. “To have the opportunity for students to not only work on an electric car, but to create one so they can really understand all the pieces that go into it was really important. It gives them the opportunity to go into these high skills, high wage industries and allows them to be leaders in these fields.”
Students in the automotive program will address the mechanical aspects of building the car from the kit, while students enrolled in robotics, computer programming and networking classes will work to adapt the car’s electronics. In addition, graphic communication students will have the ability to learn how to design skins for the car, similar to the car wraps made from vinyl films. Business students could even connect with local businesses if they wanted to advertise on the student-designed car wraps.
Once built, the car can then be taken apart and reused in future classes. The kit is expected to last for at least 10 years and allows for groups of students in future years to participate in the project.
Work on the project will begin in the fall of the 2021-22 school year. The kit is expected to arrive prior to the end of this school year, allowing instructors the opportunity to get familiar with its components so that work can begin with students shortly after the school year begins.
“We are thrilled that this project will be available for our students next school year,” Superintendent Rizzo Saunders said. “Opportunities like this allow students to gain hands-on experience for possible future careers in high-demand fields. Thank you to Jen for identifying this opportunity and for all her work bringing it to ATC.”