I'm glad I've painted the car; otherwise I wouldn't have had much to show off the past couple of days!

Last Thursday I went to Hagerty High School and gave a presentation about EVs in general -- and mine in particular -- to their National Honor Society club. (Here's my EV presentation slides with notes in OpenOffice format (CreepyGirl font required for title page), and my EV presentation in PDF format, which doesn't support notes, but gets the cover right.) I estimate 100 or more students in attendance. The A/V club filmed it.

Yesterday I presented the car to the 3rd grade classes at Carillon Elementary. I didn't have a computer to present with, so I brought lots of EV parts, including my two dead batteries.

The high school presentation was nerve-wracking. I worked for a week on the slides, only to realize that they stank. I had created a bunch of bulleted lists! My expected dialogue was in the notes, but I don't really think any dialogue can rescue a presentation that boring.

I spent all my free time one day replacing the dialogue with the bullets, and the bullets with pictures. I discovered the hell that is searching for free reusable images. I pulled it through somehow.

I was a little nervous while presenting. I stumbled and stuttered a few times. Certainly I was not the best presenter they had ever seen. I was a little thrown by the students themselves: about half of them were sleeping! About a quarter were paying attention, a quarter were spacing out (I didn't make my presentation interesting enough), and a few were laughing at me.

Afterwards I showed them Silent E herself. They had some fantastic questions, although they were very concerned about the Curtis whine. There was one student who asked, "Wait... there's no gas in here anywhere?" Obviously my 30-minute presentation needs some work.

Then I gave the teacher a ride. I floored it, and although the tires didn't squeal, the teacher exclaimed, "It feels like I'm lifting off! And it's so quiet!"

The elementary school was a little more grueling. I was outside and standing the whole time, and I didn't really have much chance to prepare visual aids. Without a presentation to keep their attention, I decided I needed to hand out manipulatives. I brought my two dead batteries so they could see how heavy they were; the parts from the old adapter; a few cast-offs from the mounts I had built; two of the the electronic boards that keep my batteries from overcharging; some wire, some fuses, and two potentiometers.

I figured out a good introduction, and winged it from there. I tried to involve the students by asking questions. I wound up talking to eight classes during a two-hour period, in two groups of three and one group of two.

The kids seemed to tolerate the presentation, but they enjoyed actually looking at the car. They also loved trying to lift the batteries. They asked plenty of questions, so I guess they were engaged.

But the thing they liked best was watching the teachers go for rides. I tried to give every teacher a shot, although we didn't have time for everyone. They would yell to decide which teacher went first, and cheer when we came back around the bus loop.

The teachers were reasonably impressed, and the ride gave them a chance to ask their own questions.

I loved presenting. I hope I get the chance to do it again, soon!