The purpose of the Customized Automotive S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program (CASP) is to inspire and develop new a generation of leaders within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields by engaging at-risk youth or youth transitioning out of the juvenile probation system in an educational training program integrating core curriculum required by most secondary institutions with practical experiential lessons.
In partnership with pioneering leaders within the customized automotive industry, MAD MAC’s CASPchannels the excitement and the passion youth have for drag and drift racing into a structured 26-week courses. In addition to teaching basic mechanical and business hard skills, the curriculum will also focus on soft skills: strong work ethic, effective communication, problem solving, positive attitude, time management, teamwork, self-confidence, working well under pressure, and ability to take in constructive criticism in order to improve.
How Program Works
Customized Automotive S.T.E.M. Program (CASP) provides the automotive shell. The youth provides the innovation and creativity to design the “team” car from conception to competition.
While a majority of the curriculum focuses on the mechanics of building the car, the youth will also have the opportunity to learn foundational business skills (i.e., budgeting, revenue generation, developing project proposals, networking, etc.). Leveraging MAD MAC’s relationship with community and corporate partners, CASP will receive donated parts from various companies. However, the youth will still go through the learning process of writing, submitting and pitching a sponsorship proposal.
Once the car is completed and all team members successfully complete the safety fundamentals portion of the curriculum, the youth graduate and transition to phase 2 of the business curriculum.
The youth and their team car will go on a one-year promotional tour targeting the major shows, meets, and special events. Displaying the team car creates an opportunity to highlight the youth’s mechanical and design skills, promote and thank the corporate sponsors who made a financial contribution and/or donated parts, as well as increase awareness about CASP.
Phase 2 of the youth’s professional development focuses on marketing, publicity and media training. Part of the curriculum will include a public service announcement (PSA) that the team will develop and film. In collaboration with local news outlets, MAD MAC will coordinate airtime of the team’sPSA. Additionally, the team co-host assemblies in public schools with one of MAD MAC’s partners, K.R.O.P.S. (Keep Racing Off Public Streets) delivering the public safety messages.
The first inner-city drag/drift team will be trained at Adams Motorsports Park by the legendary drag racer Erick Aguilar of Erick’s Racing, as well as Troy Adams of Adams Motorsports Park. The team will travel and compete in the world of professional racing and drifting. With the popularity of the Fast and Furious movie franchise, racing as a competitive sport with viable employment opportunities has become more mainstream with inner city youth.
Customized Automotive S.T.E.M. Program (CASP) can provide youth with the skills required and access to industry leaders to help them be successful in the customized automotive industry and ultimately in life.
S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering and Math)
Providing an innovative alternative educational experience, CASP, accelerates applied learning methodology in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (S.T.E.M.). Depending on the age of the youth upon completion of the program, CASP is targeting one or more of the following measurable outcomes:
- Classroom Re-entry
- Post-Secondary Education Enrollment
- Employment Placement
- Reduced Recidivism
As MAD MAC learned through the implementation of its “edutainment” music curriculum, youth have a greater desire to learn if they have a practical understanding of how the information impacts their daily life.
Today’s standard automobile, which means before adding any aftermarket customization parts, is made up of sophisticated electrical engineering. Before the students can begin the process of designing their own team car, they need to understand the vehicle’s electrical system.
- Science and Technology: It is for that reason, Phase 1’s curriculum focuses heavily on science and technology. Even the most common piece of technology in the car; for example, the battery, can be turned into a science lesson. Students will learn to that a 12 volt battery consists of six cells of stacked positive and negative lead plates, which are separated by insulators and immersed in electrolyte, a water and sulfuric acid mixture or a gel substance. Discussion topics revolve around the purpose of the positive and negative plates, what is sulfuric acid, what are safety concerns when installing, removing, charging or jump starting a battery. Next, students may learn about the alternator, starter, radiator, continuing down the vehicle’s part checklist.
In order for the students to develop a competitive racecar, they have to understand the foundational components that transform an empty shell with random parts into a working machine that is safe to drive.
Additionally, students will be taught how to operate computers (software & hardware) and how to use the computer as diagnostic tool for their team car, how aerodynamics can improve or impede performance, importance of car maintenance, and how to use other automotive equipment.
- Engineering: With this component of the curriculum elements of mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering are incorporated into the design and operation of the team car as well as the engineering of any subsystems. The engineering components can include the heads, sleeves, pistons, compression ratios, transmission, etc.
- Math: Similar to science and technology, math is a critical component of CASP. The solutions the youth will be required to create will expose them to calculus, integration, rational, irrational numbers, finding the length of the curve of arbitrary shape, probability, statistics, etc. In addition to the applied math, the business component of the curriculum will teach the students about budget preparation, profit/loss analysis, cash flow analysis, and revenue generation.
While not part of the S.T.E.M. curriculum, English is a critical piece that is woven throughout all the lessons. Activities include but is not limited to daily journaling of events, conducting research on products and potential corporate donors, developing marketing materials, presenting sponsorship proposals to corporate donors, networking and building a public relations campaign. The projects created under the English curriculum will consist of independent as well as group reports and presentations.
The C.A.S.P. curriculum is designed to give the students the foundational automotive knowledge, provide a safe learning environment, exposure to different career opportunities (mechanic, business, media, and journalism); however, most importantly, build their self-confidence so they are passionate about furthering their education beyond CASP.