Pioneer at Tesla

Pioneer Academy Students Learn Educational, Career Options at Tesla
Posted on 02/16/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Pioneer Academy Students Learn Educational, Career Options at Tesla

More than two dozen Pioneer Academy students had the opportunity to learn about educational and career opportunities related to technology and sustainability at the Tesla Gigafactory east of Sparks last week. The trip was organized by Envirolution, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing youth leadership development, and community outreach programs centered around energy efficiency, sustainability and career development.

The trip started on one of the charter buses used to transport Tesla employees to the plant from all over northern Nevada. The visit started in the lobby, where students admired the 20+ foot “living wall” which is a wall covered from floor to ceiling with a variety of plants, followed by an introduction and overview of the different motor types Tesla builds in the plant for the various car models. The students learned about Tesla's vision for a future where all transportation runs on electricity and where energy is generated through clean, renewable sources. The Nevada Gigafactory is one of five Gigafactories globally with more planned. 

The students were divided into groups with half taking a plant tour while the others met with Tesla employees to learn about Tesla and do a small experiment. The plant contains two businesses, with Panasonic operating their battery production line on-site. This reduces transportation time and resources and creates a more environmentally friendly operation. 

During the tour, students observed parts of the motor and battery assembly and were impressed by the robotics and automation throughout the plant, both assembling products and moving parts between operations. One student made the connection between the motors being assembled and the mini-generators the students are working on in their physics class.  Students certainly got their steps in walking all over that enormous factory and gained an appreciation for the sheer scale of the operation.

Additionally, students learned about the history of the Tesla plant and some of the trials and successes that have occurred over the years. They learned how Tesla has used those learnings to benefit other factories as they have come online. Later, students built their own miniature motors using a battery, a magnet and a coil of wire. The students really enjoyed the activity with one saying “Science is so cool. I want to marry science.”  It really tied the visit together for students to see how the electric motors work on a small scale to tie back to what they saw in the factory.    

“The field trip to the Tesla Gigafactory was an eye-opening experience for the students,” said Kristin Steinkraus, Physics/Chemistry/Engineering teacher at Pioneer Academy. “They were able to witness first-hand the cutting-edge technology and sustainability practices that are shaping the future of energy and transportation. The visit was an excellent opportunity for the students to learn about the importance of innovation and sustainability, and it has inspired them to consider careers in these fields. The students asked great questions, and several are seriously considering careers at the factory after graduation.”