Formula Student expands overseas

Race car shell built by Ashwaubenon students
(Photo: WBAY)

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) – It’s a high school class that goes far beyond text books and computers, and it’s gaining attention around the world.

Ashwaubenon High School Technology & Engineering Instructor Jeremie Meyer loves to challenge his students.

“It’s not just a paper and pencil test, students find out that you may design something on the computer, but actually building it in real life, you have other factors that go into it and you make adjustments,” says Meyer.

In 2007, Meyer founded Formula Student, a program where students design and build a race car from the ground up.

“I’ve learned engineering, fabrication, suspension, pneumatics and hydraulics for the brakes and stuff, it’s great,” says junior Brandon Reckelberg.

Students say the program teaches them about teamwork and other skills they’ll need when they enter the workforce.

“Helps us all get together, become friends and learn how out in the real world you have to help other people do other things and you can’t solely do anything by yourself,” says sophomore Russell Coble.

“It’s kind of exciting thinking about that it’s like a deadline, it’s just like the real world, you need to get it done in a certain amount of time and it needs to be functional and ready to go by that date,” adds sophomore Tyler Rynish.

That date is a day in May when students take the car to Road America and drive it.

These students hope to follow in the shoes of many of Meyer’s former students.

“Lot of big companies in the area have our students and they’re saying the experience they’ve had in the program has helped them get a leg up against other people coming in for interviews,” says Meyer.

After ten years, the Formula Student program has expanded throughout the Midwest and beyond.

Wednesday, November 30, at the Automobile Gallery in Green Bay, Meyer is holding a teleconference with 30 Australian teachers preparing students to build their first cars.

And just a day earlier, a teacher from Dubai reached out to him, hoping to establish the program there.