Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Students Experience Hands-on Learning with SWITCH Electric Vehicle

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Students Experience Hands-on Learning with SWITCH Electric Vehicle

CTE Student Stories

Ron Billberry teaches the Conceptual Physics course at Archbishop Hanna High School, a residential rehabilitation program for at risk youth. Students come to the school from a variety of challenging life situations – from dealing with drug addiction and abuse to fleeing gang violence and a potential life in prison. Instructors at the school are charged with helping motivated youth graduate high school, prepare for college, and develop technical and soft skills that will help them change their lives for the better.

The CTE Foundation chose Hanna High School through a competitive grant-making process to receive one of four SWITCH Lab Kits in 2016. The Kit provides curriculum and components for building a street legal electric vehicle, thus giving students a real world application for their coursework in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Students are also exposed to concepts in Electricity, Alternative Fuels, Manufacturing, Science, Automotive Technology, and Clean Energy Generation while working through Common Core requirements.

In alignment with CTE principles, Ron believes that every student wants to be a part of something that offers real life, hands on learning, and building the SWITCH electric vehicle represents a particularly exciting opportunity in this regard. In its inaugural year, students weren’t exactly sure what to expect of the new curriculum. Ron launched the course by taking his eight students on a tour of the SWITCH EV plant where they could see the cars up close and personal. They were thrilled to learn that the SWITCH cars were real street-worthy vehicles, and when the co-founder took each of them for a test drive, their collective energy and excitement for the class was sky high.

The students represented a full range of mechanical experience – some had worked on their own cars and some had never held a wrench. After the initial

excitement wore off, many of them were pessimistic about their ability to actually build the vehicle from the ground up. “None of us knew what we were doing,” said Carlos C., a student in the class.

“When we first got the car, everything was scrambled everywhere, and no one knew what piece was what,” said Arthur L., another student. “We talked it over and decided we needed to first identify the pieces and visualize them working together, and that helped the project come together and made it easier to assemble it.”

The course wasn’t easy, and the first time they turned the key the car wouldn’t start. The students went through a troubleshooting process – an important step in teaching them how to learn from failure – and eventually the car did start. Teamwork is another important skill practiced in the class. “Organization and good communication were really important to having good teamwork,” said Carlos. His classmate Arthur added, “I wasn’t interested in electrical work at first, but there was a kid who was and we worked together in a way where I helped him with the mechanical work and he helped me with the electrical; it was good to work together.”

Ron also asked his students to think about their environmental impacts. “We had homework assignments as we built the car, looking at the differences between an electric car and a normal gasoline car to see which was better for the environment,” said Carlos, “Many argued that an electric vehicle is bad because of all the chemicals it takes to make a battery, but in the end it would not pollute at all. We compared that with having a car that runs on gas and pollutes the environment every time. I think that was really helpful to learn.”

As a testament to the kids’ enthusiasm, Ron had to practically chase the boys out of class at the end of each period, which happened to be right before lunch. For the first time ever, rather than bolting for the door before the bell, students would stay up to 10 minutes into the lunch break – they were so engaged, they didn’t want to stop.

During a celebratory ride with one of his students at the end of the school year, Ron remembers looking over to see his satisfied, happy smile. When he asked what he was smiling about, the student responded, “I can’t believe I built this car.”

Press Democrat Reports on CTE Partnership with Switch Electric Vehicles

Press Democrat Reports on CTE Partnership with Switch Electric Vehicles

The Press Democrat Tours Sebastopol’s SWITCH Electric Vehicles Workshop with Local CTE Students

CTE Foundation’s partnership with Sonoma Clean Power, Switch Electric Vehicles, and the Sonoma County Office of Education, has captured the attention of The Press Democrat. In a competitive grant process, CTE Foundation recently approved the applications of four local schools who will soon offer the Switch Lab Kit as a course for its students.

The course provides materials and curriculum for students to build a street-legal electric vehicle and gain knowledge and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Students will be exposed to concepts in Electricity, Alternative Fuels, Manufacturing, Science, Automotive Technology, Clean Energy Generation, while also working through Common Core requirements.

In this article, reporter Jeremy Hay talks to the people who make the program possible.

SWITCH Electric Vehicle Program Grant Applications Now Available

SWITCH Electric Vehicle Program Grant Applications Now Available

Clean Energy Education through STEM Learning

A partnership to meet the program and educational goals for
Sonoma Clean Power and other industry leaders interested in a clean energy future.

 

The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation, Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), and Switch Electric Vehicles, together with their Presenting Sponsor Sonoma Clean Power, propose to engage educational institutions in implementing an Electric Vehicle (EV) design and manufacturing program to develop awareness, knowledge and skills among our youth around clean energy.

The Switch Electric Vehicle program is implemented through a competitive grants process administered by the CTE Foundation. School sites are invited to apply for up to 4 available Switch Lab kits and training which can be implemented in a variety of classroom programs (Auto Shop, Science, Maker Lab, Engineering/Design, Summer Camp, etc.). The Switch Lab Kit provides materials and curriculum for students to build an electric vehicle and gain knowledge and skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Further, the program can be implemented in a course as one unit over six weeks, or expanded to encompass an entire semester of 18 weeks. A mandatory 5-day training is required of all instructors participating in the program.

The CTE Foundation invites Sonoma County public schools (middle school through post secondary) to attend an informational workshop on Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at the Sonoma County Office of Education. RSVP to Kathy Goodacre required.

More information and the Request for Application is available on the Programs and Grants page of our website. Application deadline is September 18th.

Please contact Kathy Goodacre, Executive Director, CTE Foundation for more information at (707)537-1679 or kgoodacre@ctesonomacounty.org.

Sonoma CleanPower

Career Technical Education Foundation Program Video

Students Share Their Experiences with Career Technical Education Courses

The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation funds a variety of programs to ensure Sonoma County students are college and career ready. CTE Education provides both job specific and employability skills, such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The Foundation was created in 2012 with the express purpose to expand and enhance career technical training and work readiness for Sonoma County students, and to align education with the workforce and economic development needs of the County. To date, CTE Foundation has granted over $700,000 to Sonoma County Schools for the development and implementation of CTE programs.

This short video introduces you to some of the students participating in our CTE programs, and provides some insight into how they are benefiting from career technical education.

Career Technical Education Foundation Celebrates Three Years of Grant Making!

Founders, Board Members and Key Supporters Toast CTE

CTE Foundation celebrated its third year of grant making for career technical education in Sonoma County schools at an event hosted by Kosta Browne Winery and Stark Reality Restaurants. Foundation Board members, partners, and key supporters were all in attendance, as well as some students from CTE funded programs. The Foundation is proud to have granted over $700,000 to Sonoma County schools since its inception in 2012.

Photo of Lori Olson, Brian Olson, and Kathy Goodacre, Executive Director, CTE Foundation

Lori Olson, Brian Olson, and Kathy Goodacre, Executive Director, CTE Foundation

Photo of Jim Kluesener, Calpine Corporation; Brian Ling, Sonoma County Alliance; Danielle Matthews Seperas, Calpine Corporation

Jim Kluesener, Calpine Corporation; Brian Ling, Sonoma County Alliance; Danielle Matthews Seperas, Calpine Corporation

Photo of Quiana Stodder, Student; Casey Shea, Teacher; Cole Spillman, Student; and Mason Hoffman, Student of Analy High School Project Make

Quiana Stodder, Student; Casey Shea, Teacher; Cole Spillman, Student; and Mason Hoffman, Student of Analy High School Project Make

Photo of Stephen Jackson, Sonoma County Office of Education; Lisa Wittke Schaffner, The John Jordan Foundation; Dan Blake, Sonoma County Office of Education

Stephen Jackson, Sonoma County Office of Education; Lisa Wittke Schaffner, The John Jordan Foundation; Dan Blake, Sonoma County Office of Education

Photo of Michelle Zygielbaum; James Gore, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Michelle Zygielbaum; James Gore, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Photo of Seth Gallant and David Zimmerman of Stark Reality Restaurants

Seth Gallant and David Zimmerman of Stark Reality Restaurants

Photo of Todd Zwiaska and Veronica King of Bank of Marin

Todd Zwiaska and Veronica King of Bank of Marin

North Bay Business Journal Recognizes CTE Foundation

CTE Foundation Awards $400,000 to Sonoma County Schools

Thanks to the North Bay Business Journal for their article recognizing CTE Foundation for its 2015/16 school year grant awards. In a statement to the Journal, CTE Foundation Director and State Senator Mike McGuire said, “Providing relevant training, education and career pathway options for all students is vital to student success and the economic growth of Sonoma County and the state. The CTE Foundation demonstrates how private industry and public education can work together to provide a brighter future for our students and the economy, which will help make our communities thrive in the years to come.”

The Foundation awarded 15 high schools, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the Sonoma County Office of Education with grants to support CTE programs that deliver specialized career training and exploration curricula.

$15 Million State Pathways Grant to Compliment Efforts of Local Career Technical Education (CTE) Fund

Santa Rosa, California (June 4, 2014) –

The Career Technical Education (CTE) Fund of Sonoma County will serve as a key partner in the recently announced California Career Pathways Trust grant of $15 million awarded to the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), as lead agency for the six-county alliance who will benefit from the funding.  A portion of the multi-million dollar state grant will be directed to Sonoma County schools and will help local school districts plan for and develop their career pathway programs, train and coach their teachers, equip their classrooms and provide valuable work based learning coordinators.  This development work at the district level is essential for establishing a “Model CTE Program” that meet the standards for funding from the CTE Fund.

The CTE Fund, a Committee Advised Fund of the Community Foundation Sonoma County, was founded in 2012 by private donors Tony Crabb and Barbara Grasseschi, with a mission to expand and enhance the career technical training and work readiness for Sonoma County students that align with the workforce needs of the County.  Grants from the CTE Fund are primarily at the High School level and focused on developing new CTE programs that align with Sonoma County’s five key economic development industries as identified by the Economic Development Board and include: Advanced Manufacturing (Including STEM), Construction/Green Business, Health Care, Sonoma Wine/Agriculture/Tourism, and Professional and Innovation Services.

The Fund recently announced their second year of approved grants to local high school for CTE programs totaling $213,000 for school year 2014/15.  The Fund has raised over $960,000 since 2012, in donations and pledges through year 2017 from public and private donors.  Following initial pledges from the John Jordan Foundation and the County of Sonoma totaling $505,000 over five years, donations/pledges have nearly doubled the fund’s total and include a combination of private individual, family foundation and corporate gifts.  Other top contributors to the fund include Tony Crabb/Barbara Grasseschi, the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation,

American Ag Credit, Big John’s Market, Gardenworks Inc., Hotel Healdsburg, Kaiser Permanente, Redwood Credit Union, the Soiland Family Fund and Herb/Jane Dwight.

Goals for the coming year include continuing to invest in the expansion of high-quality, new CTE programs at the high school level and developing regional training programs in such industry areas as manufacturing, health care, and construction training.  The regional training approach will provide the necessary course work at the high school level and matriculate to the JC to help fill the pipeline of trained workers for key industry segments of Sonoma County.

Over the two years of granting, a total of ten new CTE programs/courses have been added in the County through six different school districts (seven high schools) largely focused on hands-on learning programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  In addition to the STEM programs, also funded are two programs in Agriculture/Culinary and include a first of it’s kind Farm to Table program at Healdsburg High School and a new Plant and Soil Science course at Sonoma Valley High School.  Additional programs were funded at the middle school level offering career exploration opportunities to as many as 1,950 students countywide through the Sonoma County Office of Education.

Additional donations are being sought to further enhance the Fund. “We believe it’s imperative to provide multi-year investments within the education system to support workforce development and economic stability for Sonoma County.  Through our support, the CTE Fund is helping to drive systemic change and create large impacts for schools county-wide,” says Lisa Wittke Schaffner, Executive Director, The John Jordan Foundation.

 For more information regarding the CTE Fund, the grant process and/or if you are interested in supporting the Fund, contact Kathy Goodacre, Executive Director, kgoodacre@ctesonomacounty.org or by calling (707) 537-1679.

Career Technical Education (CTE) Fund Nears $1 Million in Gifts and Pledges to Support Career Technical Training and Work Readiness in Sonoma County Schools

Santa Rosa, California (May 8, 2014) –

The Career Technical Education (CTE) Fund, has approved a second year of grants to local high school for CTE programs totaling $213,000 for school year 2014/15.  The Fund has raised over $960,000 since 2012, in donations and pledges through year 2017 from public and private donors.  Following initial pledges from the John Jordan Foundation and the County of Sonoma totaling $505,000 over five years, donations/pledges have nearly doubled the fund’s total and include a combination of private individual, family foundation and corporate gifts.  Other top contributors to the fund include Tony Crabb/Barbara Grasseschi, the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, American Ag Credit, Big John’s Market, Gardenworks Inc., Hotel Healdsburg, Kaiser Permanente, Redwood Credit Union, the Soiland Family Fund and Herb/Jane Dwight.

The CTE Fund, a Committee Advised Fund of the Community Foundation Sonoma County, was founded in 2012 by private donors Tony Crabb and Barbara Grasseschi, with a mission to expand and enhance the career technical training and work readiness for Sonoma County students that align with the workforce needs of the County.  “Our goal is to continue investing in the expansion of high-quality, new CTE programs at the high school level”, expresses Brian Ling, Executive Director of Sonoma County Alliance and Steering Committee Chair/CTE Fund.  “We are also in the planning process with Santa Rosa Junior College to develop regional training programs in manufacturing and health care.  This approach will provide the necessary course work at the high school level and matriculate to the JC to help fill the pipeline of trained workers for two key industry segments of Sonoma County” Grants from the CTE Fund are primarily at the High School level and focused on developing new CTE programs that align with Sonoma County’s five key economic development industries as identified by the Economic Development Board and include: Advanced Manufacturing (Including STEM),

Construction/Green Business, Health Care, Sonoma Wine/Agriculture/Tourism, and Professional and Innovation Services.  “More than seventy percent of students who graduate from Sonoma County public high schools are not eligible to enter a California four-year university or college, “ states Sonoma County Supervisor, Mike McGuire. “Providing quality education, job skills and career training are vital to the success of the Sonoma County economy. The CTE Fund is making hundreds of student’s futures brighter by linking public andprivate dollars to work force development which will help make our communities thrive in the years to come.”

Over the two years of granting, a total of ten new CTE programs/courses have been added in the County through six different school districts (seven high schools) largely focused on hands-on learning programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  In addition to the STEM programs, also funded are two programs in Agriculture/Culinary and include a first of it’s kind Farm to Table program at Healdsburg High School and a new Plant and Soil Science course at Sonoma Valley High School.  Additional programs were funded at the middle school level offering career exploration opportunities to as many as 1,950 students countywide through the Sonoma County Office of Education.  (See attached outline of schools and programs approved for grants in 2014/15.)  

Additional donations are being sought to further enhance the Fund. “We believe it’s imperative to provide multi-year investments within the education system to support workforce development and economic stability for Sonoma County.  Through our support, the CTE Fund is helping to drive systemic change and create large impacts for schools county-wide,” says Lisa Wittke Schaffner, Executive Director, The John Jordan Foundation.

For more information regarding the CTE Fund, the grant process and/or if you are interested in supporting the Fund, contact Kathy Goodacre, Executive Director, kgoodacre@ctesonomacounty.org or by calling (707) 537-1679.

Sonoma County High Schools to Receive Over $500,000 for Career Technology Programs

Santa Rosa, California (June 10, 2013) –

Six school districts will receive $17,000 to $20,000 a year each renewable up to five years to expand course offerings and workforce training opportunities through Sonoma County’s Career Technology Education (CTE) Fund. The grants are from a fund established in 2012 with the Community Foundation Sonoma County, initially by private donors Tony Crabb and Barbara Grasseschi, for the purpose of supporting educational efforts designed to prepare students to become successful citizens in the 21st century and truly be college and career ready. The fund grew rapidly when the County of Sonoma approved a five year commitment at $50,000 per year, which was equally matched by the John Jordan Foundation, for a total pledge of half a million dollars through 2016. “We know one of the keys to a stronger economy is investing in our local schools and providing high school and college students with access to modern and innovative job skills programs. Local government and the Sonoma County business community are partnering to provide our young people with the workforce tools they need to thrive in this new economy”, Fourth District Supervisor, Mike McGuire says of the County’s support. Additional private donations are being sought to further enhance the fund. “Our vision is to provide more opportunities for students, our future workforce, to experience the hands-on learning and exploration necessary to connect their education to the real world and specifically match with the economic and workforce development needs of Sonoma County,” expresses Tony Crabb, CTE Fund Advisory and owner of Puma Springs Vineyards.

More than 350 Career Technical Education courses are currently offered through 15 Sonoma County high schools and include hands-on training in industry related courses in agriculture, arts, media and communications, automotive, building trades, business, finance, manufacturing, culinary arts, healthcare, energy, information services and retail trade. “To ensure the economic vitality of Sonoma County, we have to invest in local education programs that are aligned with the key economic drivers of our county and to ensure success for all students, from middle school through post secondary education” says Stephen Jackson, Director of Career Development/Workforce Preparation Services, Sonoma County Office of Education. “This includes applying essential academic standards in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) throughout all our CTE courses.”

In addition to funding, the success of the CTE program relies on the strength of private/public partnerships that include the County of Sonoma, Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, area school districts, and numerous local employers, sponsors, and organizations.

The following school district CTE programs have been selected:

Healdsburg Unified School District – Farm to Table Course. This grant would provide additional funding for staff and to integrate CTE curriculum and offer a Farm to Table course co-taught by two CTE teachers in the areas of Culinary Arts and Agriculture.

Petaluma Joint Union High School District – Engineering Technology. The High School seeks to attract students to their Industrial Technology program who are capable of high-level theoretical academic work and who are interested in STEM areas such as engineering technology. The funding will cover the teacher, textbooks and other instructional materials as well as a supply budget for the course.

Santa Rosa City High School District – CTE Project Make-Applied Lab Implementation. This grant will allow for Santa Rosa City Schools to expand upon its Linked Learning initiatives by providing funding for the implementation of a CTE Project Make – Applied Lab to be linked with an already existing core Physics Course at Piner High School.

Sonoma Valley Unified School District – Engineering Design and Technology Linked Learning
Pathway.
 The High School offers an Engineering, Design and Technology linked learning pathway elective, Introduction to Engineering and will add Principles of Engineering course next Fall (2013). This funding will support both electives courses and related expenses associated with Work-based Learning – including internships, externships, transportation and other related expense West Sonoma County Unified High School District – Project Make. Project Make is an innovative, hands on curriculum where student explore and create project-based activities to foster their ingenuity. This 21st century learning course is designed to allow students opportunities to build, design, and develop ideas from conception to developmental planning stages to finished product. This class has been featured on CNN as a modern day shop class for students and enhances student’s interest in science and math.

Windsor Unified School District – STEM CTE Course and Establishment of a Regional MESA Program. This grant application has TWO interrelated areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focus: 1) To fund the CTE STEM course created by Project Lead the Way called Principles of Engineering and Design, which will be taught in the Windsor High AXIS STEM ACADEMY for 10th, 11th, & 12th Graders. 2) To establish a North County Regional MESA Program (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) which participates in local and national MESA competitions. The CTE fund Advisory Committee plans to raise an additional $140,000 this year with hopes of raising $500,000 a year within the next five years. The funding cycle begins in January of each year with requests for proposals going out to area high schools with grants awarded the following July to prepare for program implementation in the fall.