Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bring On The Next Semester!

It's the middle of December and the semester is winding down. Next week, final exams will be over and the shop will be more or less quiet for a few weeks. That's when preparation begins for the spring semester. Our Hybrid Electric Vehicle class is held then, so now is the time for reviewing last year's curriculum and looking for ways to improve on last year's lessons. One addition for the next crew of recruits will be the "hands on" experience of re-purposing lithium ion batteries that were used in diesel hybrid buses. We will be working with Grand Valley State University in the development of curriculum as it pertains to reconditioning and reusing these batteries. The class will disassemble the battery packs and, after the fore mentioned testing and reconditioning, reassemble the cells into battery packs that will be mounted in our Small Shock mini bike project (and possibly the AntiPrius project, too!). Another activity that I would like to include would be the construction of permanent magnet electric motors. There are a few science kits out there that include all of the needed parts for this endeavor. This would deepen the students' understanding of both motors and generators. Class starts on January 13. Stay tuned!