Program Partners with Valley Schools for STEM Projects

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EDINBURG – Electric cars could be the transportation of the future. Some Rio Grande Valley teachers are learning the ins and outs of a faster version so they can educate their students.

As part of the Hispanic, Engineering, Science and Technology Week at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, 30 teachers from Roma to Brownsville learned how to build and design the more sporty side of electric cars.

A company called GreenpowerUSA brought its racing car kits so they can teach teachers how to get students interested in science and technology.

“We’re going ahead and training them on how to assemble these vehicles. That way when they go back with their students, they can lead their students through the same build as well,” said Jacob Boyette, president of GreenpowerUSA.

It’s a learning process for some of the teachers.

“There’s a lot of tools that I never used before and as you can see right now, I’m dropping everything,” said teacher Kristila Rovalcada.

Boyette said they want to train the future workforce so they can improve these types of vehicles. As of now, the cars can only go about 20 to 25 mph.

“We kind of give them a baseline, the foundation to build off of. Then it’s their job and their mission to increase the speed of these cars through intervention of these kits,” he said.

“And any modifications we can do to get better battery efficiency and to get more laps out of these batteries,” said teacher Daniel Flores.

Boyette said they are planning to work with Valley schools and build students’ interest in the STEM field.

“We’ve got plans in working with Brownsville Independent School District. So, by the end of the school we’ll have well over 30 schools throughout the Valley that will be competing in this program and taking part in it,” he said.  

Next year, HESTEC will host the first GreenPower USA electric car competition in Texas. 

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