Picking a university program isn’t always easy, but when you follow what you love it makes choosing that much easier. For students like Matthew Rose, a first year in Mechatronics Engineering and a graduate of Bluevale Collegiate Institute, his involvement in his high schools’ Electric Car Club was a chance to pursue his passion and get first-hand experience in his future career.
The Electric Vehicle Challenge is an event hosted at the University of Waterloo by the Faculty of Engineering that challenges high school students to design and test their own electric car in an annual endurance competition. Teams participate in two races, 12 volt and 24 volt, plus an engineering design competition. Matthew participated as a member of the Bluevale Collegiate Institute team. For Matthew it was a fun way to develop his skills.
I got involved because I enjoy engineering solutions to various problems. In high school, there really isn't any class where you get to design and build a solution to some sort of problem. The electric car club not only provides students with that opportunity, it also gives them the experience of working in teams on a large-scale project.”
The team entered three cars: one in the 12-volt race and two in the 24-volt race. Matthew helped to design and build the team’s electric car -- which was capable of running on two 12V car batteries for 75 minutes, and helped design and build the frame, side paneling, steering mechanism, wiring harness and layout for the car. Because of their hard work, the Bluevale Collegiate team won the Engineering Design Award and first place in the 24-volt race.
Having the opportunity to participate in the Electric Vehicle Challenge has made Matthew a more successful student, as it has given him life skills and ways of working on a team that aren’t typically taught in a classroom setting.
I gained practical skills and experience working in a large team that I would never have gotten in a regular high school class. I've learned important skills like time management, leadership, design and how to use various different machines and technologies.
Even though Matthew has graduated Bluevale, he plans to volunteer in future races held by UWaterloo.
Check out UWaterloo’s Electric Vehicle Challenge page to find out more about the challenge and see the volunteer opportunities available to students. To pursue your passions, check out the full listing of Feds clubs to find the right fit for you.