DETROIT, May 23, 2015 – Opportunities for Michigan students to explore connected vehicle technologies are revving up, thanks to a new partnership between Square One Education Network and Washtenaw Community College (WCC). Details of the exciting collaboration were announced by Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, president of WCC, and Karl Klimek, Square One executive director, during the 8th annual Innovative Vehicle Design (IVD) Performance Challenge on May 23 at Belle Isle Park.

During the opening ceremony, attended by hundreds of students and their families, Dr. Bellanca described how this educational partnership will support vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) development in K-12 classrooms.

Activities in the pipeline focus on both student and teacher professional development to bridge the Intelligent Transportation Systems [ITS] initiatives of WCC, such as connective vehicle technologies, data and analytics and cybersecurity, with the numerous science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs offered by Square One.

WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, presented Square One with a $10,000 grant for teacher training, including V2X technology starter kits and workshops.

“We are very excited about our partnership with the Square One Network and share its vision to inspire our youth to become interested in STEM education, and its relevance to the sophisticated technology inherent in today’s transportation systems,” said Dr. Bellanca. “Our work together is an important first step to assure the specialized skill sets are being taught, both to teachers and students, while establishing career pathways to support the growing talent need in intelligent transportation systems.”

A key objective of the WCC partnership is to align higher education and K-12 communities to emphasize the importance of STEM engagement and education in the region. These initiatives are designed to strengthen the future workforce, providing them with the education and career pathways needed to support emerging ITS industries. To achieve this goal, WCC’s support focuses on projects that increase interest and drive STEM and V2X initiatives, including:

  • Summer camps in V2X and other technical areas for middle and high school students. The camps will align with and enhance the existing summer camp series developed by the Square One teacher team and offered by WCC.
  • WCC and Square One will establish an exclusive process for K-12 teachers to receive Michigan State Continuing Education Clock Hours. As a result, “V2X Lab Schools” will be implemented throughout the state and participating teachers will be provided with the necessary classroom equipment for students to actively pursue V2X research and demonstration activities.
  • Developing a curriculum in data sciences intended to provide opportunities for Michigan students to graduate from high school with credit in V2X technologies.

“Each Square One program is designed to provide powerful, innovative experiences for K-12 students and teachers that creatively integrate STEM into classrooms and schools,” said Klimek. “We are thrilled that this partnership with WCC will continue to provide meaningful and inspiring STEM experiences for our students.”

Hosted by Square One, the IVD Challenge assembles student teams from high schools throughout the Great Lakes region to compete with vehicles they’ve designed and built, including autonomous, hybrid, electric and converted radio-controlled (RC) vehicles. This year, 55 teams participated in events such as a high-speed performance contest utilizing RC vehicles for Mini IVD Racing teams; an autonomous IVD challenge that tested a driverless vehicle’s navigational ability based on GPS coordinates and sensor technology; and a full-scale vehicle design challenge, where students engineered a fully electric or hybrid drivable vehicle. Additionally, teams are required to complete ambassadorships with younger students, increasing the program’s reach to as many as 10,000 students throughout the region.

Teams were evaluated by judges supporting companies that make the IVD Performance Challenge possible, including: Ford Motor Company Fund, Tata Technologies, Nissan, Eaton Corp., Denso, P3 Group, Harris Battery Company, Mahle, The Piston Group and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

To learn more about the IVD Performance Challenge or Square One Education Network, visit

ABOUT SQUARE ONE                                                    

Igniting the creative potential of K-12 students in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the hands-on Square One Education Network serves the youth, educators and partners invested in the development of tomorrow’s workforce. This year, Square One will invest $350,000 toward school grants, professional development workshops for teachers, and Innovative Vehicle Design (IVD) Performance Challenge programs. Its work will reach 11,000 students and 250 teachers. Square One is based in Waterford, Mich. For more information, please visit, or check us out on Facebook and Twitter, using #SquareOneNet.



In 2015, WCC will celebrate 50 years of preparing students for success in professional careers and lifelong learning. Located in Ann Arbor, MI, the College offers over 120 degrees and certificates, an open door admission policy and affordable tuition rates. WCC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. For information about the college, visit




Katelyn Crain, Eisbrenner Public Relations / / office: 248.554.3512

Susan Ferraro, Washtenaw Community College / / office: 734.677.5295



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