A Need For (Learning And) Speed

Avondale Dealerships give students a peek into McLaren’s automobile design processes

Highland Park High School Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) engineering design students recently met their needs for learning and speed.

Students heard from McLaren Dallas brand manager Simon Crossley about how aerodynamics, technologies, and design impact the development and performance of luxury supercars.

“Describing the thoughtful details incorporated into McLaren’s design process to enhance vehicle performance was relevant to the students as they work on one of their core projects focused around automobiles,” said Crossley of Avondale Dealerships.

The students are designing remote control cars for the second annual MAPS Grand Prix. Geoffrey Orsak, director of the Moody Innovation Institute, sees what the McLaren team provided students as a valuable part of what MAPS does.

“We designed this program to give our students the opportunity to work with experts like Avondale Dealerships’ Crossley in order to share real- world experiences that really enhance our curriculum.”

Michael Warren

The center opened in the fall of 2019 to give HPHS juniors and seniors hands-on experiences and learning encounters with industry experts. 

Junior Bella Alomar and instructor Chris Fullwood, whose engineering design students are designing remote.

“McLaren gave them inside industry access that was exhilarating and informative.” Orsak said.

Michael Warren, director of the MAPS program, said such professional partnerships prepare HPISD students for investigative and creative challenges. 

“We designed this program to give our students the opportunity to work with experts like Avondale Dealerships’ Crossley in order to share real-world experiences that really enhance our curriculum,” Warren said.

Juniors Bella Alomar and Brady Boyanovsky were excited to hear a presentation that validated their design instincts for the Formula One model they are making.

“It was cool to hear how their engineers harness aerodynamics to achieve top performance,” they said. “We hope that we can do the same on our car.”


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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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