West Philly EVX Team: Real-world Projects - Education that Works

Ann Cohen
The West Philly EVX Team includes students from the West Philadelphia High School Auto Academy and The Sustainability Workshop, both in Philadelphia, Pa. The West Philly Hybrid X Team has been building and competing with alternative fuel vehicles for the past 13 years. The car on display is the EVX GT, a hybrid sports car that the team built for the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition. In 2011, the team and the GT won Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International in New York. This spring the team won the Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Awards, which challenges teams of high school students to create innovative products using science, technology, and entrepreneurship to solve 21st century, real-world problems. The team presented its work on their newest project, the Electric Very Light Car. On September 6, the EVX Team and its founder, Simon Hauger, moved to The Sustainability Workshop, a pilot program for 30 public high school seniors. The Workshop takes the core elements of EVX—real projects, hands-on learning, and close collaboration among teachers and students—and places them at the center of the school day. The Workshop has partnered with the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC), the School District of Philadelphia, and Drexel University to provide a rigorous, challenging, and engaging educational experience for the students. By combining classroom work with real-world projects, Workshop students will be prepared not only for post-secondary education, but to take their places in the emerging green economy.