CAR Introduces High School Students to Automotive Engineering

Posted: July 30, 2019


Camp CAR 2019
Campers stop for a photo at Mirror Lake during their Ohio State campus tour

The Center for Automotive Research provided a unique STEM experience for high school students this summer at Camp CAR, a week long summer day camp intended to educate students 14-18 year olds on various aspects of engineering including automotive, simulation and manufacturing.

“The automotive industry is currently experiencing a revolution at the convergence of autonomous systems, electric vehicles and ride share technologies,” said David Cooke, assistant director at the Ohio State Center for Automotive Research.  “This summer camp, supported by Ohio State, Honda and Engie, gives us a chance to teach the next generation of engineers about exciting careers in mobility and to support STEM education.”


Participants visited the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence.
Participants visited the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence.

Camp CAR brought high school students from the Columbus area, around Ohio and across the nation to Ohio State, and included tours of the newly opened SMART Center at the Transportation Research Center, Honda Heritage Center and Smart Columbus Experience Center in downtown Columbus. Participants also had the opportunity to interact with a number of areas within the College of Engineering including the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) and SIMCenter.

Students participated in hands on activities with Ohio State faculty and researchers, and learned about career opportunities in engineering from mobility and technology experts.

“I liked touring all of the research centers and learning about the different opportunities that Ohio State students have. I want to go into automotive engineering and this was a good opportunity to see what you can do in this field,” said Camden Hanson, a senior at Hilliard Bradley High School.


Time was spent in the Machine Shop learning safe welding techniques
Time was spent in the Machine Shop learning safe welding techniques

The high school students got their hands dirty in the machine shop learning about machining and welding, testing engines in research labs and even driving vehicles on a chassis dynamometer. They also worked in the computer lab programing vehicle simulations and learning about advanced driver assistance systems.

The eager group of future engineers focused on electric vehicles and smart cars that are environmentally-friendly, safer and more efficient, as well as automated and connected vehicles that can communicate with city infrastructure and even drive themselves navigating complex urban and highway traffic.

Camp CAR is an annual summer program, applications for the 2020 camp will be available at in the spring of 2020.


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