Picture a school field trip involving flashy cars, emerging technology and multimedia presentations. That's what hundreds of Southeast Michigan students, including some from Lake Orion High and Novi High, will experience Jan. 18 at Cobo Center in Detroit.
Classes participating in the eighth annual Education Day program at the North American International Auto Show gain access to hands-on activities, career presentations and show tours led by engineers, designers and technicians.
Students also will interview professionals for class projects and can meet representatives from six colleges – Oakland University, Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State, the College for Creative Studies, Michigan State and the University of Michigan.
The idea is to stimulate next-generation interest in automotive professions. Students will see and hear about "the latest technology, engineering, automotive design and environmental concerns," says a promotional brochure. Lesson plan suggestions for Grades 8-12 focus on occupational choices, as well as the show's value to the industry and Metro Detroit.
Education Day will include busloads from Oakland Schools Technical Campuses in Royal Oak, Clarkston, Wixom and Pontiac. Career programs at those public schools include transportation technology and engineering.
Other Oakland County groups are coming from Waterford, Holly, Ortonville, according to Lacey Lambert of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association in Troy, which organizes the auto show. Registration forms from other schools still are arriving.
In Birmingham, engineering students will be attending the auto show, Cheryl Shettel of Seaholm's Community Service department said, though on Jan. 19.
The auto show begins with a Jan. 9-10 media preview before the Jan. 14-21 public event.
The dealers' group offers discounted $12 admission tickets for students in groups and $100 transportation reimbursements for each of the first 100 buses registered. The association also sponsors a and video competition as part of its education outreach.