Camp CAR introduces high school students to automotive engineering and mobility
The Center for Automotive Research along with the Honda-Ohio State Partnership hosted 24 high school students at Camp CAR, a weeklong summer day camp where participants learned about various aspects of automotive engineering and mobility including simulation, testing and manufacturing.
Camp CAR brought high school students from 10 US states as well as Canada and Peru to Ohio State, and included tours of the Transportation Research Center Inc. and the HALO Wind Tunnel.
“I really liked getting to see all of the facilities that the engineers at Ohio State work in and also getting the opportunity to work with some of the tools that they use,” said Logan Bodner, a senior at Bentley High School in Oakland, California.
The students were treated to an exclusive tour of the world’s most advanced wind tunnel at the new Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (HALO) facility, located at the Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC). The wind tunnel serves three separate state-of-the art testing functions — aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and racing. The group also toured TRC where, in addition to visiting their Smart Center and travelling a lap on the 7.5 mi test track, Honda North America facilitated two activities to give the campers a sense of how they pivoted to virtual reality, and more formal program management, as a way to continue their global enterprise during the early part of the pandemic.
“The activities were integral to showing how innovation and creativity plays a role in the science and engineering, and how well-rounded brains are what drive the future of mobility,” said Jennifer Humphrey, CAR’s outreach and event manager. “The students heard from working engineers about the various skills that Honda specifically is looking for in the emerging workforce, and how students, even at the high school level, can position themselves to be one step ahead of their peers, if they have the interest and drive now.”
The Machine Shop in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering led the campers through the process of building their own mini-cars by using various manufacturing processes.
The eager group of future engineers learned about automotive engineering that is 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.
“My favorite part of camp was all of the hands-on experiences," said Aara Upadhyay, a junior from Lima Peru. “We went to many different areas of the research center and I really liked that rather than always being talked at, we were able to see what we were learning about.”
Camp CAR is an annual summer program for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors ages 14-18. Applications for the 2023 camp will be available at car.osu.edu in the spring of 2023.