KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CNN/KCTV) - Students create a car powered by tweets, Facebook likes and Instagram shares.
The car is an old-school Volkswagen Karmann Gia, but there's nothing old about the engineers-in-training who rebuilt it into an electric car and making it cruise like it never could back in 1967.
"We're just a bunch of high school students from Kansas City, Mo.," said Cornel Foster, a Minddrive student.
What drives this car is far from traditional energy, actually run on social fuel. It starts with a tweet that sends a signal into a little box in the car that lets it know that it has social fuel and can start running.
"Social media being used to power a car that they built is just so perfect," said Linda Buchner, president of Minddrive.
Every tweet, Facebook like and Instagram share gets routed through a server in the car. If they don't have enough social media buzz, that little black box can actually cut power to the electric engine.
"It's designed so that when we stop for charging, if we don't have enough social fuel the car won't start again," said Buchner. "But it's not going to leave us stranded on the side of the highway with a bunch of teenagers."
And that's a good thing, because kids and mentors from the Minddrive program are preparing to drive their creation from KC to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers for hands-on education.
"I got to move around, do stuff, so I wasn't sitting at a desk for an hour having a teacher just go up there and show you," said Minddrive student Kelvin Duley. "We actually got to get our hands dirty."
Minddrive started as an after-school program working on cars at one high school and quickly grew to draw in kids from several inner-city schools.
"We're trying to provide a hook, a way to ignite their interest that they each have inside of them," said Buchner.
"It gave me some motivation, I would think," said Foster. "I had a set goal of being a professional athlete at first, not really caring about, honestly, my degree or anything like that. But I guess this car has changed my perspective about how much a degree or education matters."
And now they're excited to take that message on the road -- counting on your tweets, likes and shares to get them there and beyond.
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