MINDDRIVE'S Electric Car Project Seeks National Sponsorships for Coast-To-Coast Demonstration Run

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The 501(c)3 Educational program, MINDDRIVE whose mission is to inspire at-risk teens to want to learn, expand their vision for their future, and to have a positive influence on urban workforce development is taking their electric car project, built by these high school students from Kansas City, on a cross-country trip.

“Getting on board early offers the most opportunity to our sponsors”, says Buchner.

An very unique electric car, built by high school students from 6 urban Kansas City schools through a program called MINDDRIVE, will make a demonstration run in March, 2012 from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL, the shortest route from coast-to-coast. This effort will prove or disprove that their efforts put into the ultra-efficient, lightweight design and the utilization of a quick-charge technology would allow an electric car to be considered more than just an urban concept car.

MINDDRIVE, a 501(c)3, non-profit organization in Kansas City is rolling out its national sponsorship package which include an extensive PR and social media strategy.

“We have been fortunate with the amount of press and interest our project has already attracted,” said Linda Buchner, President. “This trip has a marketing appeal that goes beyond a company’s CSR department and crosses over into a wonderful marketing opportunity with like-minded corporations.”

MINDDRIVE is an educational program with two class tracks: Automotive Design Studio and Contemporary Communications, which creates a unique blend that addresses a combination of critically important life skills. Using the help of professional mentors, MINDDRIVE’S experiential learning model engages the students in math, science, technology and creativity through the hands-on project of building an electric car. The Contemporary Communications class learns in a similar mentor model, to create presentations, write stories, shoot photographs and videos, and to post blogs and use social media to get the word out about what the automotive class is up to. In a sense, the automotive class becomes the client of the communications class.

“We create a scenario where students mentor students,” says Steve Rees, CEO and Automotive Instructor. “The communications class teaches the automotive class presentation techniques, which will be very important as we travel across the country. The automotive class teaches the communications students about basic scientific theories, which they need to learn in order to be able to write stories about the car project.”

The MINDDRIVE students will be sharing their story with pre-arranged groups in cities and towns along their route, so learning how to speak to strangers, giving a firm hand shake and looking someone in the eye when talking to them about the car, are tools they will also use for success down the road when they are interviewing schools or potential employers.

This particular route was chosen not only because it is the shortest route, it’s also about the flattest way to cross the country. Once you leave San Diego you climb to approximately 4,000 feet slowly but then the downward grade is much more aggressive. After that, the grade doesn’t vary much more than a couple of percentage points all the way across the rest of the route, which is perfect for getting the most efficiency out of our trip.

The chance for failure exists, of course, but MINDDRIVE believes that the effort is worth it and in following with their mission, which expands the vision of the future for their students. Many of the students have never left the city, never flown on an airplane, never interacted with rural America and so this trip will expose them to the beach, the desert, the bayou and all the ethnicities that go with the populations on the state-to-state trek.

Our sponsors will have the unique opportunity to develop their own followers for this effort, too. We will have a GPS widget available so that friends and customers from around the world can track our progress in “real time”. The ROI will be in real time and with the social media technology tools we are using, we will know who is listening and what they want to talk about and hear about on our trip.

“Getting on board early offers the most opportunity to our sponsors”, says Buchner. “The social media following is developing now and the pre-promotion will keep the momentum going. So, the early sponsors will reap the benefits long before the trip occurs next March.”

For more information about how you can become involved, either as a corporate sponsor, a school sponsor, an in-kind donor, please contact Linda Buchner at Linda@minddrive.org .

MINDDRIVE, is a 501(c)3 organization, located in Kansas City, Missouri, has a mission to inspire at-risk teens to learn, expand their vision for their future, and to have a positive influence on urban workforce development. Visit http://www.minddrive.org for photos and videos about the program.


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Linda Buchner - President

Steve Rees - CEO
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