Delaware vo-tech students build EV stations

by Danica Brendon

Delcastle High School in Delaware has embarked on an innovative project to prepare its students for the future of electric vehicles (EVs). The project, which began last academic year, involved students from the drafting, welding, and electrical programs. They collaborated to design a charging area that includes four parking spots and assembled the charging kits, welded the necessary steel to carry power from the building to the stations, and wired the system.

Currently, two EV charging stations are available for use by school employees, with students taking on the responsibility of monitoring usage and maintaining the system. Another charging station is located in the electrical trades shop, where it’s being used to teach the technology to both high school and continuing education students.

The school district also has plans to provide training on servicing EVs to students studying auto technology and mechanics. Additionally, they are considering installing EV charging stations at their three other high schools.

District career and technical specialist, Dan Edelen, emphasized the importance of preparing students for all possible career pathways, including those related to EVs. He stated, “with the development of electric vehicles, there’s a need for this. You need to have an electrical license to install these.”

Delcastle’s project comes at a crucial time as Delaware considers a proposal that would require all new cars and light trucks sold at dealerships in the state to be electric by 2035. The rule, if adopted, would require EVs to make up 35% of the cars sold in 2026 and gradually increase to 100% over the next decade. Lawmakers have also passed a bill requiring all new homes to be “EV-capable,” meaning they must have the necessary infrastructure to support EV charging equipment.

For the students involved in the project, the experience has been transformative. Aleksander Mirada-Vasquez, a Delcastle junior majoring in electrical trades, described it as a “thrilling experience” that allowed him to develop the skills necessary to become a licensed electrician. He shared his excitement about the possibility of owning an electric vehicle in the future. Similarly, William Kisielewski, another junior studying electrical trades, expressed gratitude for being part of the first wave of students preparing Delaware for a “cleaner energy” future.

Adrianna Goursahab, a junior technical drafting student aspiring to become an architect, highlighted the fulfillment of working on a project that “came to life.” She emphasized the importance of the experience and the impact it had on her and her classmates. Their drafting teacher, Terry Hayes, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the opportunities the project provides for students to witness technological innovation firsthand.

As the adoption of electric vehicles continues to grow, initiatives like Delcastle High School’s project play a crucial role in preparing the next generation for the changing automotive landscape. By providing hands-on experience and training, schools are ensuring that students are prepared to meet the demands of a future that is focused on cleaner, more sustainable transportation options.

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