And They’re Off! Student-led Creativity in EVolocity is Electric

Teams racing at 2018 EVolocity finals in Christchurch

High school students taking part in the EVolocity schools programme are finding new ways to innovate and collaborate together, as they discover skills they never knew they had.

“On a scale of 1 to 100, it would be about a 300!” – Jordan, EVolocity competitor.

EVolocity is a programme passionate about engaging youth in the Electric Vehicle (EV) sector. The programme started in Canterbury in 2014, with the support of Enviroschools, and has since taken off in multiple regions around the country.  

Empowered students are at the heart of the programme’s kaupapa. Teams of high school students join together to design, build and along the way they learn about the environmental and economic benefits of electric vehicles.  They race their own electric vehicles and are invited to compete in a series of challenges with other school teams, both regionally and nationally.  

Pit teams in action!

“I have always wanted to make New Zealand a cleaner and better place, this project gave me an opportunity to explore this idea from a different angle.” Johanna, Y13 student.

The programme is woven into the curriculum in a variety of NCEA subjects, like physics and technology, with some schools including cross curricular links. At Geraldine High School, for example, the art department got involved and designed a beautiful rear cowl (hood) for their entry.

Students are engaged in constant opportunities to learn new skills and be challenged in different disciplines and branches of learning.

“I found out that I really love welding… And I never thought I would be able to do that. I am going to do a MIG welding course next week…” – Sarah, Y12 Student.

EVolocity has also been integrated into STEM outreach programmes at organisations such as Ara Institute of Technology, with the goal of encouraging future innovators into higher education.

As well as building EVs, students are building new relationships – with teachers and volunteers helping students. These connections are helping students to strengthen their relationships with teaching staff, and to gain experience and confidence within their community.

To find out more about EVolocity visit their website.  Enviroschools and Toimata – proud sponsors.

Banner photo – Pit crew making adjustments before the race.