Take inner-city troubled teens + mentors
+ building ELECTRIC CARS (that's right!) = MINDDRIVE
At-risk high school students in Kansas City’s urban core travel down a new road when they remodel and convert cars - from a Lotus Esprit to antique Karman Ghias - into electric cars as part of MINDDRIVE, a nonprofit educational program geared toward teaching STEM principles through hands-on learning.
MINDDRIVE students choose from after-school and Saturday classes in Automotive Design Studio, Welding, 3D CAD, Contemporary Communication and Solar Lighting Design, and use real-world challenges of our times to learn critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship and how to improve their future by expanding their vision for themselves.
In the Automotive Design Studio, he autos are stripped down to the frame, then completely rebuilt. The groups are in charge of the design, ordering of parts, and building the cars – tasks that take teamwork, planning, and leadership. Adult volunteers act as mentors.
For students not interested in cars, MINDDRIVE offers Contemporary Communications, where students learn photography, videography, editing, social media, and blogging. The communications group works as an advertising agency for the auto group, publicizing its work.
That’s how last year’s SOCIAL FUEL MEDIA TOUR came about. Student’s drove from Kansas City to Washington, D.C. To raise awareness for experiential learning like MINDDRIVE, the students added a monitoring device to their electric car that "converted" social activity into energy. Through tweets, posts, shares and likes, the team had enough fuel to travel from K.C. to D.C., where they held a Congressional Hearing, sponsored by the ASME and the IEEE, to drive change in education. The focused conversation was around the impact of experiential, hands-on learning on creating a direct link to STEM-related jobs.
At the culmination of each school year, MINDDRIVE takes its students on the road trip of a lifetime. This year, the MINDDRIVE group took a road trip to northern California where they visited the Googleplex— Google’s headquarters — Twitter’s offices and a number of others.
MINDDRIVE has created an educational model that influences the student’s other core classes. The students are exposed to several new career paths and can see how the work they do at MINDDRIVE can translate into a career choice or an exploration of possibilities they'd never thought of before.
Join Julie Ann and MINDDRIVE's President Linda Buchner for a fascinating and inspiring conversation about what fueling creative thought in teens makes possible!
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