Last week more than 200 automotive technicians and educators met in Pasadena, TX for the 43rd annual North American Council of Automotive Teachers (NACAT) conference. NACAT is an international conference that provides educational and professional development opportunities for automotive educators from the U.S. and Canada. Attendees came for four days full of training and networking opportunities. For the second year, Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) partnered with Corn Grower Associations from Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri on behalf of the American Ethanol brand to attend NACAT and present ethanol educational resources.
"This is one of the few conferences an educator can learn from not only their presenters, vendors and corporate trainers, but can also learn from peers and colleagues that are in similar classroom situations," said Mike Rodgers, Interim VP of Academic Affairs and Director of Advancement, OCTC. "NACAT provides such an array of educational topics, it makes the quality of the conference like no other."
OCTC instructors Fred Wright and Lewis Nall presented results found from an engine testing project that was commissioned by KyCorn and MoCorn. In the investigation, flex fuel lawnmower engines manufactured by KOHLER engines were tested with various ethanol blends to document wear, durability. In short, higher ethanol blends burned cleaner and led to less wear and tear; oil test results also indicated less were and tear at higher ethanol concentrations. Detailed findings were distributed during the classes taught at NACAT. You can see that here.
"The project we presented was a yearlong project. Every part of the presentation was built by students, including stands and wiring," said Fred. "We had a lot of positive feedback from instructors who thanked us for researching and presenting this type of information. If you get one teacher on board, you have 500 followers."
"It was extremely well received. After the first class, we noticed instructors came back for the second," said Lewis. "There is a lot of skepticism and we can prove that it's not true; not just with words, we can show them. During the trade show, our booth was busy the entire time. It shows there's a need for this kind of information to be disseminated." If you are interested in the findings of this project, the principle investigators can be reached at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.