SOUTH FORSYTH — An international company and a local high school are making a connection through an electric vehicle.
On Thursday, Siemens AG donated an all-electric Transit Connect van, developed by Ford and Azure Dynamics, to the Engineering Pathway program at Lambert High School.
“Siemens has had a strong partnership with Forsyth County Schools and with our engineering program it was a natural fit to really try and get a partnership built here,” said Principal Gary Davison. “We’re the newest high school, they’ve been with the other high schools, and now it’s their opportunity to work with us.”
Siemen’s hybrid drives business manager, Thomas Orberger, said he hopes the vehicle encourages students to get more involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, courses.
“The takeaway [is] if the students take this vehicle just to think what STEM is,” Orberger said. “[If students] just spend a little bit more thinking about looking into STEM, the mission is completely accomplished for me”
According to Orberger, it’s important for industries to provide training and help create skills so that students can get an understanding of the technology.
“I believe that it’s very, very important as a company we believe in creating job skills,” Orberger said. “Skill creation requires an engagement of the industries and companies for our schools.”
Davison said the vehicle will be used mostly for events tied to the school’s engineering program and robotics team. Some parts of the campus likely will have to be retrofitted to accommodate the new technology.
“We need to have a charger station put in the location where it’s going to be,” Davison said.
While the school is going to keep the company’s logo on the vehicle, it can also be expected to get some Lambert flair.
“We want to be sure to honor the partnership we have with them, but we’ll put some horns on it somewhere,” he said.