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Recently, Kary Winkler and Jesse Richuso, members of the Georgia Tech EcoCAR outreach team, visited Creekside Middle School in Georgia.

GT OCs Kary Winkler and Jesse Richuso

GT OCs Kary Winkler and Jesse Richuso

Kary and Jesse were very excited to be greeted by the happy faces of 8th grade life sciences students. The two GT outreach team members taught the middle schoolers about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles.

The highlight of the visit for the middle schoolers was the competitive activity that Kary and Jesse planned for them after the presentation. The Outreach Coordinators (OCs) challenged the class to develop an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle and come up with a corresponding magazine advertisement for a consumer campaign. The student teams had to choose between E85, gas/electric hybrid, full electric and hydrogen fuel cell energy sources and were also able to pick the car type, size and interior features. As an additional challenge, the students were tasked with keeping both price and consumer appeal in mind. The teams were given 25 minutes to draw a magazine ad and two minutes to present their ad and car to the class.

Eighth graders hard at work during the competitive activity
Eighth graders hard at work during the competitive activity

The team that received the most votes for their ad won the opportunity to visit the EcoCAR Garage on the Georgia Tech campus. Kary and Jesse were absolutely drained by the end of the school day, but they were encouraged by the students’ enthusiasm. The OCs believe they helped fuel a new generation of green-consumers!


In early January, Georgia Tech’s EcoCAR team displayed its vehicle at the National Science Foundation (NSF) Conference held in Atlanta’s Cobb Galleria Center. Even in the midst of finals, the team was very busy preparing for the big event and finalizing its control strategy!

At the conference, the Georgia Tech team met up with EcoCAR students from Penn State, Virginia Tech, Missouri S&T, and Ohio State to promote the competition. On the second day of the NSF conference, a swarm of high school students came by to see what was happening. The team recalls one student who asked a ton of questions about the 2-Mode EVT, which was very surprising for a high school student! “We think that student should apply to Georgia Tech – we have some work for him!”

Georgia Tech displays their EcoCAR at the NSF Conference

Georgia Tech displays their EcoCAR at the NSF Conference

The Georgia Tech team had a lot of fun at the conference. They found it very enlightening to listen to ideas and perspectives from researchers all around the country.

The EcoCAR is now back in the Georgia Tech garage and the team is hard at work improving their control strategy!

This week’s Team Spotlight Video highlights the Georgia Tech EcoCAR team!

Check out the video below to find out a little about GT’s two-mode hybrid EcoCAR and to hear a few of the many convincing reasons to get involved in the EcoCAR Challenge. A reason provided by the GM mentor for the Georgia Tech EcoCAR team, Bill Venner – the skills students obtain through EcoCAR “will allow them to pick whatever job they want in the hybrid industry.”

Green Garage Site

About EcoCAR

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