LAFAYETTE, Ala. — A tech school in Chambers County is racing its way to fame through solar power. It’s all in an effort to drive more students to consider careers in engineering.
Seth Stehouwer teaches engineering at the Chambers County Career Technical Center. But most of his teaching centers around students participating in hands-on activities. Stehouwer uses racing as a project-based learning tool to engage teens in the classroom. He says involvement in the engineering class and racing projects has tripled since they first started.
“Students have really gravitated towards what we do,” Stehouwer said. “We found that the advanced students absolutely love the projects. Some of the kids having trouble staying in school have found a place to be and something to be passionate about and something to be apart of.”
Stehouwer says the program prepares students to pursue studies in engineering at four-year colleges and universities.
Students from grades 9-12 design small scale electric cars that will soon benefit from solar power panels that will provide a quicker, more efficient charge for the rides. There’s also an after-school program for students in grades 5-8. The high school students are gearing up to race cars like these in Indianapolis in an international competition this spring, all while hoping to drive their future plans for engineering.
The racing program is only about halfway to their funding goal. The racing season for students starts March 18.