NAIAS Education Day Brings Youth, Auto Industry Together

With the rapidly growing use of wireless technology, smart phones and the Internet, today’s youth are more connected and tech-savvy than ever. As automobiles become more connected too, it’s only natural that the industry focuses on bringing the two together.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) does that by focusing on the various automotive-related technologies for students at all levels at its annual Education Day, held Jan. 22, 2014, at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

With the support of the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., NAIAS Education Day brought STEAM education to more students than ever, even down to the earliest grade levels.

As part of PNC’s “Grow Up Great” early childhood education initiative, almost 500 Detroit Public Schools preschoolers attended Education Day, where they toured the show and participated in a variety of educational activities.

“PNC’s support of NAIAS Education Day reflects our strong corporate commitment to early childhood education, in Detroit and throughout the PNC footprint,” said PNC Regional President Ric DeVore. “PNC’s signature philanthropic initiative, ‘PNC Grow Up Great,’ is one of the most comprehensive early childhood education programs in the nation.”

Now in its ninth year, NAIAS Education Day is a back-to-basics, hands-on experience designed to attract students to the vibrancy of today’s automotive industry. NAIAS Education Day provides an in-depth auto show experience where students can view approximately 500 new vehicles on display, and explore various industry-related subjects (i.e. technology, graphic design, culinary arts, journalism, etc.) through tours and hands-on activities facilitated by experts in their particular field. Students can become further engaged through pre- and post-show lesson plans found on the NAIAS Education Day website.

NAIAS Education Day was open to students of all ages, including college level.  Companies involved included the U.S. Army, Ally Financial and PNC Bank.

The U.S. Army, in partnership with some of the best colleges, universities, nonprofits and businesses in the state, hosted 34 hands-on, interactive workshops for high school students and eight workshops for educators, focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) and other related areas designed to increase student success and achievement, as part of the NAIAS Education Day program.

The workshops were designed to encourage students to explore their interests in all areas related to automotive development, design, production and promotion. NAIAS 2014 Chairman Bob Shuman said he believes Education Day may help inspire some of the next generation of automotive leaders.

“STEAM education is vital to our domestic automotive industry,” Shuman said. “It’s one of the many aspects that students can explore at this unique educational event, and NAIAS is pleased to provide this opportunity to our community of young people.”

About the North American International Auto Show Celebrating its 25th anniversary as an international event, the NAIAS is among the most prestigious auto shows in the world, providing unparalleled access to the automotive products, people and ideas that matter most—up close and in one place. One of the largest media events in North America, the NAIAS is the only auto show in the United States to earn an annual distinguished sanction of the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the Paris-based alliance of automotive trade associations and manufacturers from around the world.

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