Hands-on Experiences Motivate High Schoolers at Camp CAR

Posted: August 1, 2023
group of high school students standing outside of building

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) along with the Honda-Ohio State Partnership hosted 26 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 14 US states as well as Peru and Trinidad & Tobago to Ohio State and included tours of the Transportation Research Center Inc. and the HALO Wind Tunnel as well as a day spent in the Mechanical Engineering Machine Shop.

“My favorite thing that I did at Camp was the welding activities. The person teaching us did a great job and showed us how to not mess up. He was also very funny! He made the experience of welding fun, but he also made sure we understood the safety rules,” said Quentin Gillus, a sophomore at Harry D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, Illinois.

wind tunnel
HALO, the world's most advanced wind tunnel

The students were treated to an exclusive tour of the world’s most advanced wind tunnel at the 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, the Honda Partnership led an activity that used a handheld scanning tool to create a 2D model of a 3D object.

“Our goal is to foster the campers interest in engineering and increase their desire to pursue it in the future,” said Camp CAR Counselor and graduate student, Brian Block. “We hope that by the end of camp, through the activities that we do here, the campers gain a better understanding of not only what it means to be an engineer but also of all the cool research that is currently being done in automotive engineering here at CAR.”

female in the drivers seat of a driving simulator
Campers experienced the driving simulator in CAR's Driving Dynamics Lab

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.

Camp CAR is an annual summer program for rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors ages 14-18. Applications for the 2024 camp will be available at car.osu.edu in the spring of 2024.


Categories: OutreachStudents