Thanks for your interest in the Bike Tech in School (BTS) program!
We designed BTS to do three things:
- Provide technical hands-on training and an avenue to career opportunities for high school students.
- Increase the number of young cyclists and cycling advocates.
- Grow the number of trained, entry-level mechanics that seek employment.
Your partnership will help us achieve these goals and improve the cycling community both at a local and national level.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on starting a BTS program in your area:
STEP 1: Connect with Project Bike Tech
- Your first step is to contact us and let us know that you’re interested in starting a program. We’re here to make the process as easy as possible.
- We can also provide information on becoming a Retail Sponsor or Member if you want to start contributing to the program right away! We’ll work on developing programs in your area from there.
- This program is all about community, so you may also want to contact other local bike shops, cycling clubs, community cycling advocates or environmental education organizations. If the high school has a bicycle racing team, they can also be a terrific alliance. Having the support of the bicycling businesses and organizations can be a plus when approaching the school.
STEP 2: Connect with School Administration and Affiliated CTE/ROP Program
- The second step is to arrange a meeting with the high school principal and Career Technical Education (CTE) agency to ask for their support and collaboration in starting the BTS class. At this point, Project Bike Tech will be a part of your preparation for the initial meeting.
- Reach out by phone or email in advance and schedule the appointment. We’ve found that the best timing is to contact the school well in advance of the start of the next school year (usually mid-way through the previous year’s terms) to ensure there’s adequate time to complete all the necessary planning steps.
- We’ll help you prep for the meeting, helping the school’s administration to understand the reasons why Bike Tech is a great school program.
- PBT has a proven track record of success. And has been operating in CA for 10 years
- It’s popular with students and parents.
- Has an established curriculum with complete lesson plans and complimentary materials.
- Supports CORE and STEM requirements and provides hands-on education.
- Promotes a green activity that addresses larger social wellness issues for both the individual and larger community.
- Offers technical skills training and career development.
- The BTS class is a great example of the possible partnership between a school and the cycling community. As a local bike shop or manufacturer, you can let them know that you’ll be willing to take in intern students and that you’re looking forward to having more qualified mechanics that can be hired.
- Here are some of the issues that the Principal or CTE agency will want to know about:
- How much does it cost?
The cost to set up the classroom is approximately $35,000. This is a one-time fee. Project Bike Tech has partnered with prominent bike businesses so we are able to coordinate the purchase of necessary supplies (including tools, bikes, parts and materials) at a much lower price.
- Who pays for the setup fee?
Funding can come from a variety of sources. The established CTE or ROP agency can be a great resource. We’ll also help identify local grants to add to funding. Additionally, hosting a community fundraiser can be a successful tool and local businesses are often interested in making contributions. All of these tactics ensure community support and buy-in for the program.
- Who hires and pays for the teacher?
Typically, your local CTE agency or school district does this. Project Bike Tech can provide mentorship.
- How much space do you need?
BTS needs a dedicated classroom that is at least 40’ X 20’ plus additional storage space. Project Bike Tech will provide additional details on space requirements.
- Does the curriculum meet national CTE requirements?
Yes. Our curriculum has been refined over 10 years and we coordinate with each state to meet all state and national requirements.
- How much does it cost?
- NOTE: Some principals have the authority to approve a new class on their own, while some must seek the approval of the Superintendent or school board. So it could take time to get the new class approved. We’ve found it’s a good idea to check in from time to time during the planning process to keep things moving. Project Bike Tech can be a great asset in this time and if needed can come out and present to the administrators and Board.
STEP 3: Classroom Setup and Preparation
- Once you have the necessary approval, and the School has signed on with a Project Bike Tech contract, it’s time to get the class started! The School will receive a login to the website containing all the information they need to set up the program
- Project Bike Tech will provide a schematic on the optimal layout of the classroom and facilitate the additional items needed in the room
- Project Bike Tech will also start the process of identifying what is needed in product and will notify the vendor Partners.
- The school will be paying PBT with funds from fundraising, CTE and/or their own funds. Once a purchase order is delivered to PBT, we’ll order product.
- Sponsors will ship all materials to the school and receive payment from Project Bike Tech
- The school or CTE agency is responsible for hiring the teacher, but Project Bike Tech can help provide insight on what to look for in a good Bike Tech teacher and where to look.
- Once the teacher is hired, Project Bike Tech will give the Teacher a log in for the web site that contains all the materials needed to teach the class . We will also send the teacher’s guides and student copies of Park Tool’s Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair.
STEP 4: Continued Support
- Once the class has started, Project Bike Tech will stay in contact with the teacher, helping them to stay on top of the materials needed and providing certificates to graduates of the program.
- We’ll help maintain connection to the bicycle industry to ensure continued support, program development and partnership.
- As a bike shop or manufacturer, you can host interns, hire graduates, help with fundraising, and organize events.
The process may seem daunting, but if you get the ball rolling, we’re here to help along the way. This is a win – win community effort and we are so excited to expand the program in your area.