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Ontario High School Leads with Canada’s First Hands-On Electric Vehicle Program

St. Anne Catholic High School is the first school in Canada to obtain a Switch EV kit.

St. Anne Catholic High School in Lakeshore, Ontario, is pioneering electric vehicle education in Canada by becoming the first high school in the country to receive its Switch electric vehicle kit. This innovative educational initiative allows students to get hands-on experience by assembling and disassembling an electric vehicle, understanding its components and operation in depth.

“With the impending opening of the new NextStar Energy battery plant, and all of the associated jobs there, and in related sectors, we felt this was the perfect time to start providing our students with the hands-on practical knowledge they’ll need to find employment in the electric vehicle industry,” said John Ulicny, executive superintendent at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB).

The Switch electric vehicle, part of an educational kit from a California-based company, serves as a practical learning tool for senior students. Each semester, students will engage in the assembly and disassembly of the vehicle, providing a comprehensive understanding of electric vehicle mechanics. The goal is for students to learn about the vehicle’s assembly, engage in testing and programming, and grasp the fundamental principles of electric vehicle operation. After the semester, the fully-functional three-wheeled vehicle powered by a 96-volt lithium-ion battery will be disassembled, ready for the next group of students.

Powered by a 108-horsepower motor, the Switch EV can accelerate from 0 to 95 km/h in just six seconds. Its battery’s charge capacity, however, limits its range to approximately 65 kilometres.

The initiative extends beyond the transportation technology classes. Grade 9 science students will learn about electric vehicle-related concepts like voltage, current, and resistance. In Grade 10, chemistry and biology lessons will incorporate topics like electrochemistry and the impact of electric vehicles on climate change.

The introduction of the Switch EV is timely, considering the increasing interest in electric vehicle manufacturing in the region. The educational program at St. Anne Catholic High School aims to prepare students for future opportunities in this evolving field. 

This hands-on approach not only provides valuable technical skills but also aligns with the school’s commitment to forward-looking education, preparing students for emerging job markets in the electric vehicle sector. 

Photo courtesy of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board’s Facebook page