Hertz Minddrive is one of those initiatives which leads you to believe that social media, business and modern technology can, sometimes, combine to make the world a better place.
The American High School system suffers from pupils dropping out and veering off the rails. At the time kids need the most guidance they can be left to flounder in economic depravity or all too commonly, prison.
‘Traditional’ education doesn’t always have the funds or the adaptability to manage kids whose needs might be a bit more challenging than the norm. Minddrive takes a small selection of underprivileged kids – currently from the Kansas area – and tries to engage their minds in areas such as technology, maths and engineering.
One recent course led a set of kids to convert a classic Karmann Ghia vehicle into an all-electric car. The ‘fuel’ for the car’s battery would come from converted social media interactions displayed on the dash. In order to get the car from Kansas to Akron, before finishing in Washington DC, the students would have to gather fuel by having their message and project re-tweeted, along with Instagram and Facebook posts. The Karmann Ghia would be ‘the car that runs on tweets’, gaining attention throughout the world’s media.
As the car gathered fuel, the initiative also gathered fuel and these are the types of mutually beneficial community projects that ethical businesses should try to get involved in.
Minddrive currently enjoys backing from: the Hertz Corporation, Bridgestone, SONIC, America’s Drive-In, KCP&L, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation (ASME), Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City, and VML, as well as host of individuals.
It’s easy to be sceptical about progress, and the influence of things like social-media on modern life, but Minddrive is one of the many initiatives which have proven that facilities like Twitter can operate as a genuine force for good.
The USA and most other nations that we consider to be developed economies have a problem with constructing an education system than can effectively serve the needs of every High School pupil. Young people have complex educational needs which can get lost in the traditional High School system. Some pupils might be academically very strong, others may be more artistically inclined and others may need the spur of hands on vocational activity such as that on offer at Minddrive.
Capturing the minds of young people and giving a subject context is the key to a quality education, what better way to do this than the car that runs on tweets?