For many, high school is all about those Friday night lights. For others, maybe it was to keep the grades up just enough to keep parents at bay. However, for 50 students in Detroit, their high school experience will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Students from the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Breithaupt Career and Technical Center spent 18 weeks building one sweet class project recently unveiled at Ford’s Dearborn Development Center — a 1965 Daytona Coupe.
The Ford Motor Company Fund, an arm of Ford Motor Company, has joined forces with Detroit Public Schools Community District and Experience Aviation. This allows for hands-on projects like this to take place. The running vehicle, the 1965 Daytona Coupe, was brought to life with over 1,000 parts installed by the high school students.
Ford is proud to be a part of a collective effort to help Detroit Public School Community District students prepare for careers in STEAM. — Shawn Wilson, Ford
“Ford is proud to be a part of a collective effort to help Detroit Public School Community District students prepare for careers in STEAM,” said Shawn Wilson, multicultural manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Students who are inspired to learn are better prepared to reach their full potential in academics and in life.”
In regards to building the car, he said it taught important skills to the students and gave them “an up-close look at how science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics come together in a modern work environment, increasing awareness of technology-based career opportunities.”
Thanks to the Ford Fund, the students were able to stuff a Ford 306-cubic-inch motor, a Ford TK5 transmission, and an independent rear suspension into the Daytona. The car design was provided by Factory Five Racing.
STEAM Lab, launched in October 2014 to help students find their excitement for technology and entrepreneurship, automotive design, and vehicle technology, and finding a career in STEM fields. To help aid the students and provide instructions, the Experience Aviation using Ford’s STEAM Lab digital program. Arts have been added for students to learn creativity and innovation that helps with problem solving skills, along with the original STEM elements such as science, technology, engineering and math.
Students debuted the 1965 Ford Daytona Coupe on the test track at Ford's Dearborn Development Center.
The students were challenged on how they would use technology to improve the safety and sustainability of the Daytona Coupe. A Steam Academy started by Ford Fund’s Next Generation Learning Initiative, Young Men in Detroit from the Douglas Academy joined in on the project.
Aside from the Ford STEAM Lab, under the Ford Fund wing is Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning, Ford College Community Challenge and Ford Driving Dreams Tour. More than $18 million a year is invested into scholarships around the world as well as other educational programs.