On March 24 and 25, Volkswagen Chattanooga will host the region’s signature electric vehicle program for students: the Chattanooga Green Prix. At this event, powered by EPB, teams from 30 Hamilton County Schools will showcase their student-designed and built electric race cars. This is the first time the event will be held at the manufacturing plant known for being Volkswagen’s North American Hub for Electric Vehicle Assembly.
“It is inspiring to see the growth and continued success of the Chattanooga Green Prix,” said Amanda Plecas, Volkswagen Chattanooga spokesperson. “The Green Prix introduces students to the concepts of sustainability, renewable energies, and environmental consciousness – three principles which echo our commitments at Volkswagen. We are honored to play a part in helping to develop the next generation of creative innovators, engineers, and problem-solvers, and we applaud green|spaces for continuing to bring these invaluable learning opportunities to local students.”
Since 2018, 130 teams representing over 40 schools have participated in the Geen Prix, learning about science, technology, engineering, art, and math, as well as grit, teamwork, perseverance, and safe driving skills in the process of designing, building, and racing their own electric vehicle.
“The stories that have emerged from this program are nothing short of astounding,” said Michael Walton, Executive Director of green|spaces. “Elementary school girls inspired to be mechanical engineers, middle school boys that have never turned a wrench becoming fascinated with mechanics, and high school students who were struggling in traditional academic environments finding their passion for learning through a hands-on experience.”
At the beginning of the semester, participating schools receive a box of parts and instructions, and students begin designing and building their electric race cars in preparation for race day. Students are assigned roles ranging from project manager, parts coordinator, marketing director, and driver, giving them an awareness of the different career paths available.
“STEM education is one of EPB’s primary focuses when supporting local organizations and events like the Chattanooga Green Prix,” said EPB Director of Residential Energy and Environmental Solutions Elizabeth Hammitt. “Programs like this foster STEM education throughout our community and give Hamilton County students opportunities to experiment and explore potential career paths that could shape them into Chattanooga’s future innovative leaders.”
Volunteers are needed to help with the event and they can sign up at https://bit.ly/GreenPrix423.
More information is available at www.greenspaceschattanooga.org/chattanooga-green-prix.
The Chattanooga Green Prix would not be possible without the support of our title sponsor EPB, as well as the support from Volkswagen Chattanooga, the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Fullgraf Foundation, Gestamp, Greater Chattanooga Robotics (TN Valley), Chattanooga Breakfast Rotary Club, Barcom, and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).
green|spaces is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to advancing the sustainability of living, working, and building in the Chattanooga region. Their diverse programming leads businesses and individuals through simple, practical, and affordable steps to improve outcomes for the planet, people, and the local economy, working upstream from challenges to help solve multiple problems simultaneously. To learn more about green|spaces, visit www.greenspaceschattanooga.org/.