This summer more than a hundred students and faculty participated in the first annual Mini Car Racing Contest at Cao Thang Technical College (CTTC) in Ho Chi Minh City. Twenty two student teams built cars to run in the races — all vying for the first place prize of 5,000,000 VND. After an intense qualifying round, the 12 best teams advanced to the finals where the top four teams each took home a cash prize.
“This is the first time in Ho Chi Minh City that the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology in Automotive has held an official contest of this kind where students can put their knowledge toward real life problems,” stated Professor Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Vice Dean of the Mechanical Engineering Department at CTTC.
The event brought students from various departments to work in teams and solve cross-disciplinary project problems.
“In this contest students have opportunities to practice and compete. Furthermore, they are able to obtain interdisciplinary experience. Specifically, automobile engineering students will understand more about the structure and principles of a car, including its engine and transmissions system; electrical and electronic engineering students will learn more about remote control; and mechanical engineering students will have chance to practice welding, wiring and CAD design,” added Nguyen.
The idea for the Mini Car Racing Contest was in part brought to life by Nguyen Mau Tuan Vuong. Nguyen Mau is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at CTTC and a recently returned participant from a HEEAP Vocational Training at ASU. In the four week intensive program he joined other Vietnamese professors in a program designed to assure that Vietnamese graduates meet and surpass industry expectations.
After learning about the problem-based learning method at ASU, Nguyen Mau returned to his college and presented a proposal for a contest that turned out to be a winner for school administration, faculty and students. CTTC looks to grow the contest next year to include even more students and other academic institutions.
BY TIEN NGUYEN, July 9, 2016