October 29, 2009
In this year’s Consumer Report annual reliability survey, five of the top eight family vehicles were hybrids. At the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show earlier this moth, the new Toyota Prius was voted Japan’s Car of the Year. The Honda Insight was awarded Car of the Year by the Committee of Japan Automotive Hall of Fame.
All signs point to the fact that not only are hybrids popular among environmentalists, they are popular among the general public as well as automotive insiders. This means that the market segment of hybrid owners will continue to grow.
And those cars will need to be maintained.
At this point, auto tech programs that teach or specialize in hybrid technology are rare. There are thousands of programs that still have yet to develop a curriculum for teaching hybrids. Part of the reason for that lag has been the lack of available teaching tools.
NADA Scientific is here to help. We recently introduced two new hybrid automotive technology teaching aids.
The Hybrid System Model is a solid model of a parallel hybrid system that is used in the Toyota Prius. It has a built-in operating panel to help students learn about hybrid engines.
The Hybrid Cut-Away Engine is an engine mounted on a metal frame that includes cut-aways of the engine and transmission sections, as well as an operation panel, all powered by two sets of 120V electric motors.
September 25, 2009
Automotive tech programs are often very firmly rooted in the shops. While this is a known and productive method, some auto tech teachers are instructing their students using new technology in the classroom.
As profiled by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) in January, Denis Ashton of the East Valley Institute of Technology is doing just that. He has implemented an interactive Power Point curriculum for his program. In this program, after each lesson a quiz is given using electronic keypads, allowing the instructor to know how much information has been retained by the student. By making the quizzes for groups, he also is able to engage the students by making it a competition.
For automotive instructors who are worried about the content of Power Point, simple ones can be made on any computer, and even self-made videos can be created using software such as Adobe Premier or Windows Movie Maker.
But for those who prefer to use an overhead projector either in conjunction with or instead of Power Point, Nada Scientific offers a line of intricate transparencies as well as tabletop models. They include moving parts and up-to-date details. The bright colors and functional motion are a wonderful teaching aid.