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Grand Valley helps high school students build electric cars

Posted on November 04, 2010

Students from high schools in Ludington, Coopersville, Byron Center and Kalamazoo will visit Grand Valley State University to learn how to build electric cars on Tuesday, November 9, from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Keller Engineering Lab Building on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

The workshop is offered each year to teach students how to build the electric cars they will race in the National Electric Cart Association races in the spring at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. The event is sponsored by Grand Valley’s School of Engineering.

The theme of the workshop is battery chemistry. “How a battery works is generally considered a mystery,” said Tom Yackish, professor emeritus of engineering and co-organizer of the event. “Battery chemistry is a hot topic right now, and the electric cars that students are building are battery operated, so it’s important for them to understand its chemistry.”

Students will also receive instruction from guest speaker Herb Fynewever, associate professor of chemistry at Calvin College.

For more information about the workshop contact Tom Yackish at To learn more about the spring races, visit the National Electric Cart Association at

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