Electric vehicle summer camp introduces students to auto industry jobs

Over 400 students will be getting a taste of careers in the electric automotive industry in Sudbury, Ont.

A two-week summer camp will give kids aged 10 to 14 years a chance to tour Epiroc, Technica Mining and Laurentian Chrysler while learning about the production of electric vehicles (EVs).

“We choose a career eventually based on some experience that we’ve had in the past,” said Nicole Tardif, program coordinator at the Goodman School of Mines at Laurentian University.

According to a release, almost $450,000 was awarded to the Goodman School of Mines from the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network and Ontario Centre of Innovation to set up the camp.

The program is part of the Electrifying the Future project, which aims to spur job interest for northern Ontario’s automotive industry and developing EVs.

Tardif added students will be guided by camp counselors and industry professionals through a number of hands-on activities. Potato batteries, a trivia-based exhibit called MiningOpportunity and building miniature EVs are part of the two-week schedule.

“We really use our strengths since February with respect to battery electric vehicles in mining,” she said.

Volunteers and camp counselors sit through a presentation which will be part of the two-week schedule for students. (Submitted by Nicole Tardif)

“That’s why we included geology as part of one of the days for this summer camp and the students are going to be visiting dealerships while learning about the automotive mobility industry,” Tardif added.

The program also includes exploring Sudbury’s mining sector by going on geological treks, finding fossils and examining minerals. Students then learn how mining goes toward building batteries for a growing number of EVs, she said.

According to the Ontario government, an auto pact was formed early July to support the mass production of EVs. Stellantis-LG Energy Solutions and Volkswagen will collectively receive up to $28 billion in performance incentives as part of the deal.

200 students will be going through the summer camp each week and will be on the move across a handful of industrial spots around northern Ontario, Tardif added.

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