CARSTAR, North America’s largest premier network of independently owned and operated collision repair facilities, introduced the collision repair industry to a group of remarkable seventh grade students part of the San Francisco 49ers Foundation’s STEM Leadership Institute, a six-year curriculum which works to prepare students with high academic potential for careers in STEM through more than 300 extra academic hours each school year.
The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, launched in 2014 in partnership between the 49ers Foundation, Chevron, Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Santa Clara Unified School District, currently hosts five cohorts of scholars totaling 300 students enrolled in the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grade program across Cabrillo Middle School and Santa Clara High School.
Presenting to over 120 students, the CARSTAR team highlighted how the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are pervasive in the collision repair industry. From the initial engineering of the vehicle, to the technology embedded within it, collision repairers must navigate more than most expect.
“Technologies like scanning and 3D measuring have been created to help us perform repairs just as advanced as the vehicles themselves,” says Rob Zimmerman, VP of Business Development, CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body. “Vehicle manufactures have never been this innovative and there is so much room for STEM leaders to emerge in the collision repair field as a response to these new and amazing technologies in our cars.”
Designed with more than just transportation in mind, vehicles are equipped with new capabilities that keeps consumers safe and comfortable. Features like lane departure warnings that prevent drivers from drifting out of their lanes are becoming standard. When collision centers repair vehicles, they must consider these technologies during the repair process to ensure the initial engineering remains intact and customers are safe when they drive away in their vehicle.
“It is an exciting time for our field with more advancement coming as the automotive industry is expected to change more in the next couple of years than it has over the past several decades,” says Hannah Ross, Senior Director of Marketing, CARSTAR. “CARSTAR has a proprietary operations EDGE Performance Platform as well as an online library of training materials in CARSTAR University to help keep us ahead of these ever-evolving technologies and we were excited to share small bit of this with these incredibly intelligent students.”
Participating students learned about the latest in vehicle manufacturing as Toyota presented their hydrogen-fueled vehicle followed by CARSTAR demonstrating the technologies needed to perform repairs on a vehicle like this as well as the opportunities available in the collision repair industry as a whole.
“The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute cultivates high-potential middle school and high school youth by increasing their exposure to STEM subjects so our nation’s youth go on to STEM careers,” said San Francisco 49ers Foundation Executive Director Justin Prettyman. “We’re thrilled to link up with automotive industry leaders like CARSTAR and CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body to provide our students with a real-world, hands-on learning experience.”
Local to the San Francisco Bay Area the CARSTAR Chilton Auto Body team, who are experts in staying ahead of advancements, have performed collision repairs on the most innovative vehicles for years.