Monongalia County 8th graders stepped off the buses and into the Mylan Park Expo Center, where they took a peek into their future career choices. Hosted by the Monongalia County Technical Education Center, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium and 85 other exhibitors, had the opportunity to show what kind of knowledge, skills, and technology are involved in a career choice in their field. Nearly 800 students stopped at the NAFTC exhibit where members spoke about careers in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

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Representatives from the NAFTC pass out information about careers in alternative fuel vehicles to 8th grade students. Credit: NAFTC.

Students were able to take a peek under the hood of the Chevrolet Volt, where they learned about the various electrical components. They had the opportunity to witness a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) with both electric drive and the conventional gasoline systems.

Some students had the opportunity to sit in the front seat of the Volt and power on the vehicle right inside the Expo Center. Many were amazed at the quiet start and run of the vehicle when running on battery power as one student exclaimed, “Is it really on right now?” Members of the NAFTC highlighted the benefits of the Chevrolet Volt’s use of electric drive, including no tailpipe emissions and approximately 40 miles of gasoline-free driving. Students witnessed the staronboard display which featured a battery gauge, signaling the remaining battery elective drive power. In addition, members discussed the distinction between PHEVs like the Chevy Volt and EVs such as the Nissan Leaf, which has extended electric drive range, but lacks the ability to transition to conventional fuel.

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Students who attended the career fair had the opportunity to learn about electric drive vehicles. Credit: NAFTC.

With more and more alternative fuel vehicles on the road every day, there will be an increased demand for technicians, curriculum developers, and other professionals surrounding the technology. The NAFTC took the opportunity of participating at the career fair to help address this demand and getting students excited about AFVs.

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