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It is hard to believe that it snowed in Daytona Beach this weekend, but the Winter Workshop was a great success nonetheless.

Below, the teams shared a few highlights with the Inside the Green Garage blog:

Not only did the University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) win first place for best technical poster, their most memorable moment came at the Daytona 500 Experience.  One of UWAFT’s outreach coordinators, Eric Mallia, managed to successfully operate the air wrench to execute a full-speed NASCAR pit-stop in 16 seconds!  

UWAFT's Eric Mallia at the NASCAR pit-stop

The Missouri S&T team was thrilled to be able to watch the Le Mans Racing Series time trails from the infield stands of the Daytona 500 race track. The team was excited to see and hear the race cars as they drove around the track and they were close enough to see the red light on the tachometer as the drivers were shifting!

The Ohio State team took home third place in the technical poster competition, ending their week on a high note!  The poster represented the vehicle architecture and simulations that were used to develop the team’s Hardware in the Loop (HIL) designs. Ohio State enjoyed taking a break from working on their car to spend time with the other teams and remember the work they’re doing to advance green technology.

The Texas Tech team on their way home from Daytona!
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Mentoring and teaching the youth can be a rewarding experience.  EcoCAR sponsors and organizers often find it inspiring to help university students learn about the process of designing fuel-efficient vehicles and the EcoCAR students find it inspiring to teach elementary students about energy and green vehicle technology. One of those teaching moments happened on Saturday at the Daytona International Speedway race track.

While the EcoCAR students were attending the Winter Workshop and learning about new hardware and software for their vehicles, regional Boy Scouts came to the race track to spend the weekend and participate in various educational activities. EcoCAR organizers and students visited the Scouts on Saturday to show them one of the EcoCAR vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

The EcoCAR Winter Workshop is in full swing in sunny Daytona Beach, Florida. The first two days were consumed with the teams’ Hardware-In-The-Loop (HIL) and Outreach presentations at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and demos at Daytona International Speedway.

Teams brought their HIL’s to the workshop to show how they’ve improved since we last saw them at Year One finals, and how they plan to continue fault testing their vehicles in Year Two. The level of the students’ controls knowledge impressed top industry experts and judges from dSPACE, National Instruments, General Motors, and Argonne National Lab. Mississippi State’s Tommy Frazier said, “We gained valuable experience presenting our HIL to top industry experts. Their feedback will allow us to create a great running vehicle for finals in May.”

While the HIL presentations were going on, the teams’ outreach coordinators presented what they’ve been up to the past few months. They’ve been busy! “We were excited to share the things we’ve been working on over the past few months and through the end of the year,” said Matt Johnson, ERAU Outreach Coordinator. Teams presented on their new Web sites, social media networking, and Year Two outreach activities. The judges were very impressed with the coordinators, and can’t wait to see what they do to close out the year.

The ERAU team posing in front of the Daytona International Speedway

Make sure to check out all the teams’ Facebook and Twitter pages to see how they’re gearing up for the competition finals in May!

Kary Winkler from Georgia Tech checking out the outreach posters at the Winter Workshop

The EcoCAR teams were up early today to prepare for one of the main events at the Winter Workshop – the judged poster presentations that detail the teams’ vehicle unveiling outreach. Last fall, each team organized various outreach activities when the GM-donated vehicles were delivered.  After reviewing the posters that reflected the teams’ media results, it was evident that the students learned a lot while educating their communities about advanced vehicle technologies. 

The Penn State EcoCAR team had a particularly successful unveiling due to their effective use of social media.

“Our vehicle unveiling event was early in the morning,” said the Penn State team’s outreach coordinator, Dana Bubonovich. “I sent a tweet out about the event and it was picked up by Penn State’s blog, OnwardState.com, within 10 minutes. Then the local news station saw it and sent a reporter to cover our event. It just shows the power of social media.” Read the rest of this entry »

Now that winter is upon us, are you dreaming of fun, sun and the beach?  For the students participating in the EcoCAR competition, their dreams most likely include HILs, emissions and vehicle inspections. The teams have been hard at work preparing for the EcoCAR 2010 Winter Workshop that kicks off today in Daytona Beach, Florida, but with any luck, the students will be able to catch some sun while sharpening their green engineering skills!

The workshop is a three day event hosted by the Daytona International Speedway and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Through Saturday, the student teams will participate in the following activities:

  • Team presentations judged by an expert panel of industry and government sponsors
  • Technical sessions focused on preparing for the competition finals in May, 2010 
  • An emissions and AVL DRIVE demonstration presented by General Motors

An EcoCAR outreach event will also be held at the Speedway with approximately 1,000 regional Boy Scout packs from Florida and Georgia. EcoCAR will give a “Tech Talk” to the scouts about the advanced technologies the teams have selected for their vehicles. 

For more information about the Boy Scout event and the Winter Workshop, check back in this week!

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