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The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

STEM Cohort rolls out to the Auto Show

The+STEM+Cohort+had+the+unique+opportunity+to+check+out+the+Chicago+Auto+Show.
Caribee Collier
The STEM Cohort had the unique opportunity to check out the Chicago Auto Show.

Cars are some of the most impressive feats of engineering there are, and that is right up the alley of a group of students with an interest in various types of engineering.

On February 16, the Mount Carmel STEM Cohort took a trip to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place. The group walked to the Metra station near MC and took the train to the station right under the convention center.

There was a food drive there where every three cans of food donated was worth one ticket to the auto show. After turning in their cans the MC students walked in and were allowed to split up and explore on their own.

“It was a lot cooler hanging out with my friends,” said junior Aiden Correa. “I got to go and explore whatever interested me instead of having to follow along in a group. It made it a lot more fun.”

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There were a lot of different cars to see, from practical-use cars, exotic sports cars, race cars, new electric cars, and even several vehicles that were replicas of movie cars, such as the DeLorean from the 1985 film “Back to the Future.”

The Auto Show gave the MC students a chance to not just have a lot of fun, but it was also a gathering place for heavy car enthusiasts who shared interests with some STEM students. Furthermore, it was a chance to see all of the new and upcoming technology that’s being used in the car industry.

Seeing vehicles that they may one day work on was exciting for many MC STEM students, and it showed what they are working toward in some of their fields of study and potential career paths.

“I’ve always liked cars and STEM,” said Ulysses Zavala, a senior and member of the STEM Cohort. “Seeing cars with other kids interested in engineering was fun, and it was the perfect way for us to see STEM implemented in real life.”

The STEM Cohort itself is one of the most unique clubs at MC. In order to join, a student needs to be involved in some other kind of STEM extracurricular like robotics or drone racing. Mr. Caribee Collier is the head of not only the STEM Cohort but also moderator of accompanying STEM extracurriculars. Along with all this, he teaches physics at the AP and Excel levels to juniors and AP Mechanics to seniors.

“My goal with the Cohort is to have three unique experiences each trimester,” said Mr. Collier. “I try to get them three experiences beyond the classroom and beyond the school, and the Auto Show is not just a good experience, but it is also convenient to get to. I like to see the new tech, and I know a lot of the guys are car guys.”

It was one of the most interesting experiences that a STEM student at MC can have in the school year.

“They had a driving simulator there,” said Correa. “I got to test out virtually one of their fastest cars, I don’t know what car it was but it was so fast. Acceleration was through the roof. I felt like I was actually a NASCAR driver. I also got to go in a Tesla series S and it went zero to sixty in ten seconds.”

While they enjoyed most of the cars, there were some favorites among the group.

“The one that got the most conversation was definitely the Tesla Cybertruck,” said Mr. Collier. “There were a few guys who got to go inside that truck. All the expensive cars were popular too. The $300,000 and $700,000 cars are unique as well.”

The Cohort has been going to the Auto Show every year with the exception of the Covid restricted time since the group was founded back in 2016.

While it was definitely a positive experience for the STEM Cohort, it does have a small drawback for Mr. Collier.

“Every time I go there,” he said, “I want a new car.”

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About the Contributor
James McCormac '25, Staff Writer
James McCormac is a junior at Mount Carmel. He lives in Bridgeport and attended Old Saint Mary's Grammar School. James is a member of the Varsity football team, the chess team, boxing, and The Merchant. Outside of school James enjoys doing volunteer work. His hobbies are reading and lifting.