If you are on this web site, than you
are a truth seeker and on the path of discovery to find practical alternatives to using gasoline. Welcome to the journey.
It is widely known that there are many alternative fuels however education is
the missing link that will connect people to the solutions.Over the last 3 years I have been teaching
Alternative Fuel Education to high school students.During my research to find industry experts, car parts,
and training, I have collected a wealth of knowledge that I will share with you on this web site.It’s
good to have on board. So check back as I update this web site.
Simply put, I teach high school students
to build full size electric cars since 2008.The Film, “Who killed the electric car” is the
part of my curriculum.I have focused my teaching career on teaching green confidence to the youth of America.But I need support to continue teaching green in a NJ school.Budgets cuts always threaten the technology
classes.Please mention my story on your web site to help support my green car building program.
How it all got started:
In the summer of 2008 I attended a 10 day electric conversion
class in San Diego.It was exactly the type class I needed; a hands-on, start to finish, conversion of
a 2001 VW beetle.With 3 teachers and 25 eager adults we stripped the car of its gasoline engine, designed
an EV system and installed it.I was so proud when we finished the car and rolled it out for the first
time.It was like an episode of Monster Garage, we barley made the deadline.We had
a goal and we worked at it every day till it was done.Looking back in 2011, I can still remember the sun
lit garage filled with bursting personalities ready to learn.
from the 9AM start we had engineer guest lectures and in the afternoon we worked on the car.We met every
day from 9Am to 3Pm then I would hit the beach.At 31 years of age in 2008, I was still just a big kid
from NJ, and California dreaming was part of my thoughts growing up.I rented an apartment 10 miles from
the shop and bought a beach cruising bicycle to get around.I felt free. Then I thought
to myself, how can I bring this freedom home to my friends and community?
Back home in NJ I was surrounded by friends and colleges that could not see a good solution
to the rising cost of gasoline.Not just the dollar cost but the cost to our confidence.The
consumers had the power but not the knowledge of a working practical electric car and therefore no confidence to go astray
from gasoline.As the cost of fuel went up we just paid it.There is a cost to the air
and environment as well but again, without consumer knowledge, the cost is invisible to most people.Education
was the missing link.
Armed with my successful
electric car conversion knowledge, I proposed that we convert a car to electric at the school in the fall of 2008.At the time gasoline had peeked at 4 dollars in NJ and the school administration approved the project.They took a chance.It took 700 extra after school hours to convert the car with students, but we
did it.I brought educational freedom to a small high school in NJ.
Ok so it has been more than a week
since I updated the blog. More like a
year. It's so demanding to learn about and teach alternative fuel that the web site goes on hold.
Moving forward my students and I have created a new alt fuel vehicle.
I don't have much time to write
about it today but I do have a photo of the car. We converted a Diesel car to run on used vegetable oil.
Then to prove the point we added a French Fryer to the rear of the car. I put fresh oil in the back of the car and get
to cooking. When I am done cooking frys, I transfer the used oil to a filter.From the filter the
oil is them pumped out to the Vegetable tank.This is them used as fuel for the Diesel engine.
Well that was just a short entry to the blog for now. The canversion
kit that I used is from a great company named Greasecar. Check it out. http://www.greasecar.com/
I am a huge fan of the Discovery Channel
as are most curious people. Personally Discovery changed my life. I was just a dreaming car designer in 2001 when
I graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I was forced to work in product design due to what 9/11 did to the economy
the car companies were hiring very few.In 2002 Monster Garage aired on Discovery channel. This changed
everything. Instead of drawing the cars I wanted built, I was inspired to pick up a welder and build the cars myself.
In a fury of learning, I begged a railing shop to teach me how to weld.Next I rented a welder from Home
Depot then with a day of practice I bought the welder I could afford.It was also the cheapest welder,
a Clarke for 100 bucks.I welded everything I could.Now that I was playing with tools
and fire I turned my attention to the old motorcycle I bought a few years prior.It didn’t run and
I had no license.I worked every night from 7 when I got home till after 12 for a month.I
got it running, got my license, and got on the road to my educational recovery.I say recovery as I never
had a shop class in high school as there was no class at my school.
Jesse James, the
host of Monster Garage, inspired me to take my education by force.Now that I was repairing dead motorbikes
and melting metal, I could turn my attention back to car design and with my new confidence I could see the limitations of
my career in product design.You see in product design you draw, brainstorm, and then rush to make the
prototype the sales team wants.But the sales team has no idea what the public wants as they are
not designers.Proof is there are only a few really good products out there to buy, the rest are throwaways.So about this time I started looking for a new career and job.I needed a job that let me be me.I want to melt metal, design cars, and inspire others the way Jesse James did.Teaching technology
education would be my destiny.I never thought of that job as I never saw a teach-ed class growing up.I found teach-ed threw a round about way.I was an industrial design major in college so I have
hands on skills and art skills.By now I had heard of Tech Ed classes but had never seen one.After sitting in on some high School art classes, I got the idea that if I could teach art then I may be able to teach
car design.Even better I could teach car building.This all lead to me investigating
Tech Ed classes.I then joined the NJ Tech Ed Association and the rest is history.No
more just drawing cars, I am building cars and inspiring many.And what better way to inspire people than
with the truthful pursuit of Alternative Fuels.
I have been on the intense roller
coaster ride that is high school technology education for 5 years.All the climbs are hard and all the
thrills are worth the climbs.I had no idea it would be this intense.Most interesting
is that as I have gotten my education back by building cars with students.As it turns out I am not alone
on getting the educational shaft.Most have no idea how products are built, which products are efficient
and most important how to build products in harmony with the earth.My story is a microcosm of what is
really going on.I find that the biggest educational holes are in science and Tech Ed.
Educated consumers is what I thought capitalism was all about but that is not possible when technology
education, were a person learns about product design, is just an elective. Plus tech-ed is closed in most
schools. For example most adults and students have no idea when the first electric car was built or that electric cars
are even an option.
If your still reading this than you want to know more.Here
are a few links to help out.
First is the NJTEA… That is the New Jersey
Technology Education Association
I happen to pick up a magazine
off the rack that I have never seen before.It was late I was passing through 42nd street port
authority waiting for a bus.At the top shelf of a magazine and convenience store was an interesting cover.I mean really this magazine was out of reach.I am 6 feet tall and had to stretch to get it.Plus I already had picked out a Mountain biking magazine to buy.On the cover is a very pretty middle
30’s woman holding a hand full of dirt.The main article is about the environment and top soil
erosion.I only picked it up because she is pretty but inside the magazine are some great articles that
took me by surprise.Have you ever read the book the Alchemist?It is a great book about the journey of life.Well there is an article about how hard writing is
by the author Paulo Coelho.I had no idea it was written by him till I saw his name at the bottom of the
page.It really gave credibility back to the article and the magazine as a hole.So
I bought the magazine and read on.The feature article about dirt is very important.Top
Soil erosion is as important as having clean air or water.Due to our modern way of throwing out food as
oppose to recycling or composting we are throwing out the nutrients that replenish top soil.The same day
I read this article happen to be the same day that the school building facilitator investigated adding a green house to my
Alternative Fuel program at the High School I teach.So it must an important coincidence.Anyway
if you’re interested the magazine is named Ode.http://www.odemagazine.com/Check it out.It’s good.
I will start by saying NSTA…That is the National Science Teachers Association convention in Philadelphia.You might be think
to yourself, “What is an Alternative Fuel HS Auto Shop teacher doing at the science teachers convention.But that is exactly where all the auto shop teachers should be.Auto Shop is just applied science
by converting chemical energy into mechanical energy in a car.Plus 3 car manufactures were there to promote
their “Go Green” products.GM, Toyota, and Subaru.
As an auto shop teacher I was a fish out of water.I walked
into the Mecca of science conventions.There were over 10,000 attendees from data collected by NTSA.I was the only auto shop teacher but I think any auto shop teacher would greatly benefit from crossing over to look
at science specific lessons for inspiration.
Here are some NSTA highlights.First off GM was on hand to represent the mighty Volt.They rolled out a Volt chassis with all the guts.It was like a frog dissection out for all the
science teachers to see.Mel Fox, a GM engineer, was there to explain the parts.Mel
was a great inspiration me and my students.She explained the car and how she made her way into a green
career at GM.
Another NSTA highlight was
the hydrogen education booths.Dane Urry of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies had a remote control car powered
by a little hydrogen cell.Being the kid that I am, I encouraged Dane to charge it up and take it out for
a spin.There we are running over feet and under tables with a clean burning remote control car like kids
with a new toy.Green technology is fun.I even strapped a small video camera to the
front of the car to share the fun with my students when I got back to the classroom.Showing that science
and alternative fuels are fun is great inspiration for them.You can see it on YouTube.Look
up H-Cell 2.0 hydrogen fuel cell remote control car - fast!
Now that the science teacher convention is over I can bring all that energy and enthusiasm to the classroom.I must thank GM for inviting me.Specifically Eden Litt and Laurie Mayers of the Teach Green Blog.Spreading the word of Teaching Green is essential to America’s advancement.
My next blog will be about converting a diesel car to run on Vegetable oil.