Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The process that began in August finally culminated in the middle of January -- and it was such a fun evening it was worth the wait! There were dozens if not hundreds of parents, students and guests touring all of the facilities of the school and getting to see students demonstrating their skills.  The culinary school was serving up food, and there was free popcorn being given out in the hallway near the automotive technology wing.  Our very own Larry Dyer, math/science teacher extraordinaire and a participant in both the 2007 and 2009 workshops, was serving up the popcorn -- and he later took me to see the a7n7 battery enclosure he and Bill have been working on.  The box is done and ready to go in the van!  But I'm getting ahead of myself ...

I arrived just as Tom Meers of R.W. Mallon Inc, representing PPG, the paint manufacturer, was mixing up the paint.   I took a beautiful shot of him through the glass of the mixing booth and my camera batteries died in the middleDid I have a spare set with me?  I did not.  So I have no action shots, alas, but we had a wonderful time watching Tom and Nick Vesci, a student in the auto body collision course, spraying the van with the low-emissions, solvent-free water-based paint produced by PPG.  Tom really loves the paint he sells!  He says it's the first real progress in paint technology in 50 years -- and it's not that new, because PPG bought the company that invented it 23 years ago.  While it's been in use in Europe for 10 years and in California for the last 3, it is only beginning to be available on the East Coast.  Tom notes that body shops will soon be required by law to use low-emissions paint (here in PA and in a number of other states along the Eastern Seaboard, including NJ), and that means technical high schools will need to train their graduates on this new, green technology.  I'm completely thrilled to have the e-Van be the first vehicle at NMTCC to be used for such training!

I couldn't go home with no photographic documentation, and I was helped out by the warm and friendly Suzanne Kachelries, who took the pix below after spraying was completed.  As School to Career Coordinator at NMTCC, Suzanne is Nick's advisor.  (She also introduced me to his family, who operate Vesci Auto Body in Hatfield and are very supportive of NMTCC's educational efforts -- Nick's dad, Joe, serves on the school's Occupational Advisory Committee and Nick's mother says he has learned things here that he could never have been exposed to at their shop.)   Nick is seen below with Bob Hunter, the auto collision and body instructor who put many hours into this project -- and picked that stupendously eye-catching shade of orange! 

Above you see Nick and Bob with me (look at that my-van-is-finally-painted-grin!) and Tom, the PPG rep.  Tom and Nick worked together on the e-van, which was clearcoated and sprayed in the space of a short two hours -- hilariously interrupted by a fire alarm, causing us all to have to leave the building in an orderly fashion and wait for the all-clear.  

Guess what the cause was -- Mr. Dyer's popcorn machine!  No, it didn't catch on fire, but the heat from it triggered the sensitive alarm system.  I laughed all the way home thinking about it.

There's more to blog about soon, because I must recount my visits to the EEVC on the second Wednesday and the NJEAA on the third Tuesday of this month -- but I had to get these photos up as soon as I got them!  I can't wait to get down there with my own trusty camera and document the e-van's true final shininess (because of that fire drill there wasn't time for the final clear-coating, but that was to go on the very next morning) and, I most devoutly hope, the gorgeous battery enclosures fully installed -- only then we can finally get some electric miles logged on the 09 e-Van.   Till then, thanks for following along!

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