Relevant educational material is often quite a challenge for schools. So when it was time to replace the Ford Galaxy, we decided to give it away to the car mechanics students of the TIO institute in Overpelt.
Greet Heylen, who is responsible at Flanders Make for the STEM project, explains: “In this way, young people are given the opportunity to put the theory into practice in a realistic setting. That’s something that motivates them.”
The choice for the TIO institute was obvious because they are one of the few schools nearby that offer an extra study year focussing on electric vehicles.
“Electric vehicles are the future. The labour market is waiting impatiently for qualified personnel to work in this domain. But, as for many technical and technological professions, there is a real shortage. Giving away the car is for us a first step in what in future, considering our pioneering and advanced research into electric vehicles, could well become a closer partnership.”
It is definitely not the first project through which Flanders Make wishes to increase young people’s enthusiasm for science and technology. In 2015, Flanders Make joined forces with the Flemish FabLabs to encourage young people between the age of 10 and 14 to choose for a STEM study (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). You’ll find more information in the press release.