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Hyundai teaches Effingham County middle schoolers how to build hydrogen cars
Hydrogen cars on race track
Effingham County Middle School students gather around the Hyundai racetrack to test their hydrogen cars. (Submitted photo.)

Special to the Herald

RINCON — Middle schoolers in Effingham County got an opportunity to explore hydrogen technology with representatives from Hyundai Motor America last week. STEM students from Ebenezer Middle, Effingham County Middle, and South Effingham Middle schools participated in a mini hydrogen car building competition held at the Effingham College & Career Academy (ECCA).

Hyundai Motor America in partnership with Horizon Educational, provided 90 mini hydrogen fuel cell car kits which allowed students to get a first-hand look at how hydrogen and electric vehicle (EV) technology works.

ECMS students assembling hydrogen cars
Students from Effingham County Middle School assemble their hydrogen cars. (Submitted photo.)
Hyundai representatives like Brandon Ramirez, director of corporate social responsibility and external relations, are hoping this exercise will spark an interest in automotive manufacturing technology. “We want the students to be excited about STEM and hopefully one day become employees of the new Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America,” Ramirez said. 

“It is truly phenomenal to see local industries plugging in with our students and showcasing manufacturing technology in a fun and engaging way, says Jessica Hood, Vice President of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority. “We sincerely appreciate Hyundai’s efforts to connect with area schools and commend the Effingham County School District for their forward-thinking approach to education in our community.”

According to Todd Wall, chief executive officer of the ECCA, this exercise is the first of many efforts to incorporate EV technology into the curriculum for Effingham County students.

“Since the announcement of Hyundai in the region we have been looking for ways to introduce our students to EV technology,” Wall said. “We are currently pursuing a grant through the Georgia Department of Education that will allow us to take this effort to the next level and incorporate elements of EV technology into our engineering pathway.”