Bellevue College Builds Car Of The Future

When you hear “Car of the Future” you might picture Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean, but when at the gas pump or sitting in traffic on I-405, many of us would settle for a vehicle that got better gas mileage.

Recently, Bellevue College students in the RISE Learning Institute’s new Makers and Scholars Summer Experience took steps toward that end by helping to build an ultralight carbon fiber car that is capable of getting 100 miles per gallon. This type of vehicle would not only perpetuate greener transportation technology, but to change the way things are made.

The summer program features hands-on workshops encompassing lessons in genomics, fire engineering, 3D design, and robotics with makerspace events that give students the tools and space they need to create innovative products and technologies.

“We want to inspire students to reach their highest potential,” Dr. Gita Bangera, founder of the RISE Learning Institute, said in a statement. “By giving them hands-on experience with emerging technologies, we hope they will see themselves as future scientists, inventors, and innovators.”

The carbon fiber cars belong to nonprofit Wikispeed, and organization that has been partnering with Bellevue College for five years. The nonprofit’s team of volunteers design, manufacture, and test “hyper-efficient” cars.

“Wikispeed has been a fantastic partner,” Michael Reese, director of program development for the RISE Learning Institute said in a statement. “Our students have amazing hands-on learning experiences there. Wikispeed is very welcoming — and very accessible to students with no previous automotive experience. We had been bringing the students to the cars for a while. This summer, we decided to bring the cars to the students.”

For more information about the RISE Learning Institute’s Makers and Scholars Summer Experience, visit Bellevue College online.

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is a staff writer at 425 magazine. Email her.
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