It appears that General Motors is in the midst of a transformation from a massive company to a somewhat less massive company. It seems that while – or perhaps because – that is happening, interesting things are bubbling out of Michigan’s largest company.
One such item is a venture of GM and the College of Creative Studies (CCS) who have created an art education program with Detroit Public Schools called You Make a Difference (view video). GM explains:
The program pairs together a GM designer and a College of Creative Studies student in Detroit. Six times a year, the duo visits a local high school and teaches students the basics of automotive design. Since the kids are new to the topic, they start with the fundamentals– drawing straight lines and elipses. Over the course of the program, students learn the concepts of perspective, angles and shading and then put all their knowledge together by sketching their dream car, which is put on display at the College of Creative Studies.
“I want them to know that whatever you do, as long as you are passionate about it, it will reward you in the long run,” says David Rojas, a HUMMER designer who mentors the art students at Mumford High School in Detroit.
This year, the program has grown to 22 schools and has expanded outside Detroit to the cities of Pontiac, Mich., and Los Angeles. For some kids, “You Make a Difference” is the first step on the path to a career in car design. In fact, three students have already gone on to receive scholarships at CCS.
I’m curious what folks think about bringing business into the classroom in programs like this and more extensive ones like the Henry Ford Hospital’s Early College where public school students a high school diploma, an Associates Degree from Henry Ford Community College, and certification in specific health fields.