Volkswagen hosts the 2023 Green Prix for local students

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Local students from elementary to high school have been building electric vehicles.Today, they were finally able to put them to the ultimate test at Volkswagen’s very own racetrack. 

This is the fifth year in a row Green Spaces has hosted the Green Prix, but this is the first year that they’ve teamed up with Volkswagen.  

“The Green Prix introduces students to the concepts of sustainability, renewable energies, and environmental consciousness  three principles which echo our commitments at Volkswagen. We are honored to play a part in helping to develop the next generation of creative innovators,” said Amanda Plecas, Volkswagen Chattanooga spokesperson. 

In previous years, the race has been hosted at UTC and Chattanooga State. It’s predicted that more than half of new passenger vehicles sold worldwide will be electric by 2035. 

The Green Prix is a STEM program designed to give students the hands-on experience they need to be leaders in the future electric vehicle industry.Hamilton County teachers want to prepare students with real-life problem-solving skills. 

At the beginning of the semester, participating schools receive a box of parts and instructions, and students begin designing and building their electric race cars in preparation for race day. 

Back in 2017, Green Spaces saw a need for the rising electric vehicle market, and they wanted to involve the community in some way through an educational program. 

One year later, in 2018, only 17 schools participated in the Green Prix, but now, five years later, they are proud to have 40. 

Some schools involve the program as part of their curriculum and others offer it as an after-school club. 

“We have a lot of students that love the engineering of it all, the putting the pieces together and figuring out how the cars work, but we have a lot of students that are really enthusiastic about driving the cars and we have some that are really wanting to be behind the scenes and working on the design of the vehicles, so all of this is trying to encompass a full experience for the students but it’s a really fun day for everybody,” said Madison Rollings, Green Spaces Chattanooga director of sustainability and events.

The races will also be held on Saturday at Volkswagen.The event is open to the public and free for all to attend. 

Find out more about the event at Green Spaces Chattanooga’s website.

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