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DriveOhio Smart Mobility Ambassadors: Developing Ohio’s Emerging Transportation Workforce

Guest post submitted by Rich Granger and Kenya Gray of DriveOhio, our long running partner

DriveOhio – an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation and the state’s center for smart mobility on the ground and in the air – is preparing Ohio’s emerging workforce for the next generation of transportation careers.

Students at DriveOhioDuring the 2021-22 school year, DriveOhio is launching a new Smart Mobility Ambassador program for high school volunteers, in collaboration with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators and DriveOhio Alliance partners, to engage students of all ages in conversations about smart mobility career opportunities across Ohio.

DriveOhio callout This new STEM outreach program will provide high school students with professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities, while learning about smart mobility career pathways, sharpening their coding skills, earning volunteer hours, and connecting with potential future employers.

DriveOhio callout During information sessions and training workshops, DriveOhio will lead interactive discussions using videos to provide high school volunteers with an overview of smart mobility technologies – including automated and connected vehicles, drones and advanced air mobility – along with examples of career opportunities. Training will also include professional skills and a hands-on coding activity using Ozobots, to prepare for future K-8 workshops.

DriveOhio students doing exercise

In coordination with local school district partners, Smart Mobility Ambassadors will then conduct workshops with K-8 students during or after school, leading hands-on activities and having conversations with younger students about coding, smart mobility technologies, and STEM career opportunities.  There will be opportunities to coordinate activities with the #STEMbuildsOhio Design Challenge. DriveOhio will also host networking events and site visits for Smart Mobility Ambassadors, connecting them with DriveOhio Alliance partners and potential future employers, educators, and researchers across the smart mobility industry.

DriveOhio callout

Program benefits and outcomes include earning volunteer hours supporting Ohio high school graduation requirements; learning about smart mobility technologies and career opportunities across Ohio; guidance on professional skills, including presentations, communications, and etiquette; networking and connections to potential employers; and mentoring and leadership experience.

If you would like additional information on how DriveOhio initiatives and how they can be used in design challenges, please sign up for the #STEMbuildsOhio Spotlight on Smart Mobility event series:

#STEMbuildsOhio Spotlight on Smart Mobility
#STEMbuildsOhio Spotlight on Smart Mobility: FlyOhio

Register on Zoom here

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET

Drones!  Flying cars!  “Advanced Air Mobility”!  What’s it all about?

Join experts from DriveOhio and FlyOhio to learn about the future of transportation in the air and learn how you can include this topic in your #STEMbuildsOhio Design Challenge activities.

We’ll start with an overview of emerging “Advanced Air Mobility” technologies and deployments in Ohio, followed by a case study discussion with partners from higher education and K12.

We’ll wrap up with suggested activities – including a “Vertiport” innovation challenge – and discuss next steps to integrate Advanced Air Mobility into your #STEMbuildsOhio program.

#STEMbuildsOhio Spotlight on Smart Mobility: Electric Vehicles

Register on Zoom here

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET

The future of transportation is going electric – are you ready?

Join experts from DriveOhio to learn about the future of electric vehicles (EVs) and charging stations, and learn how you can include this topic in your #STEMbuildsOhio Design Challenge activities.

We’ll start with an overview of EV adoption and the expansion of EV charging stations across Ohio, followed by a case study discussion with partners from industry and state government.

We’ll wrap up with suggested activities – including an EV charging station pitch challenge – and discuss next steps to integrate EVs and charging stations into your #STEMbuildsOhio program.

DriveOhio is actively seeking K-12 STEM education partners and high school student volunteers in Central Ohio to join the program in Fall 2021, with plans to expand across other regions of Ohio during 2022.  To request additional information or to get involved, email the DriveOhio workforce development team at: workforce@drive.ohio.gov.

For more details, visit the DriveOhio website at: https://drive.ohio.gov/ambassador

DriveOhio classroom exercise 1

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