FONTANA, CA – Henry J. Kaiser High School’s robotics club members clamored to look under the hood of a bright blue 1997 BMW 528i as it came to a halt on Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway.
Eric Lundgren, the car’s owner, revealed a battery pack made of salvaged cells from broken cable modem and laptop battery packs, which powered the car on Oct. 16 as it attempted to break the world record for the longest distance traveled by a non-solar electric vehicle on a single charge.
With the help of a nuclear physicist, an engineer, a Fortune 500 businessman and DIY YouTuber Jehu Garcia, Lundgren gave Kaiser students a hands-on look at the uses of hybrid recycling during the event, one of many such opportunities Kaiser High School hopes to provide through a new academy focused on renewable energy.
Kaiser’s academy is one of several being developed at Fontana Unified’s comprehensive high schools. Each school will focus on a different career pathway, including business, innovative technology, medicine, and visual and performing arts.
The Kaiser Renewable Energy and Technology Engineering (KREATE) Academy, expected to roll out in 2018-19, would prepare students for new and developing energy career pathways by offering applied learning opportunities, teaching technical skills and building connections with industry professionals.
“We want to be able to help students focus their learning into practical yet innovative areas, and renewable energy is an excellent field with endless possibilities,” Kaiser Principal Terry Abernathy said. “We hope this academy can provide every student with a path to success by teaching skills that can be applied in towards an advanced degree or out in the professional field directly after high school.”
Abernathy said the robotics students will serve as student ambassadors and provide feedback as the school develops its renewable energy curriculum.
“I didn’t know we can recycle cars and convert them into something more efficient, like we recycle everyday products, and it was exciting to see the results of those efforts firsthand,” junior Jashmandeep Lobana said. “It’ll be fun to see what else we can learn and do with renewable energy through this new academy.”
“We are working hard to continually develop and improve innovative, high-quality educational programs that offer students with specialized pathways to academic and professional success,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Our new academies aim to inspire students to reach new heights of achievement, and we look forward to witnessing what our students can accomplish.”
102017_FUSD_KAISER1: Kaiser High School’s robotics club members, serving as ambassadors for the school’s new renewable energy academy, examine a converted 1997 BMW 528i electric vehicle during an Oct. 16 field trip to the Auto Club Speedway. Such field trips and hands-on learning experiences will be part of the developing academy’s instructional plans.
102017_FUSD_KAISER2: Eric Lundgren, CEO of IT Asset Partners, Inc., discusses the benefits of renewable energy and hybrid recycling with Kaiser High School’s renewable energy academy student ambassadors during an Oct. 16 visit to the Auto Club Speedway.