NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, April 29, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC – Teams of high school students from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portland, OR and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, ME won first place today at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) annual National Science Bowl Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge at the 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Three winning teams will win cash prizes of up to $1,750 for their school’s science department.
“I congratulate the winners of today’s DOE National Science Bowl Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge, said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “Their model cars demonstrated creative thinking and next-generation technology. These students are engineering the President’s vision of a world where automobiles are powered by hydrogen and only emit water vapor. The students who built and raced model hydrogen fuel cell cars today may be among the future scientists and engineers helping make that vision a reality.”
The President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, a component of the Advanced Energy Initiative, invests $289 million in 2007 to accelerate the development of pollution-free hydrogen fuel cells and affordable hydrogen-powered cars. This is an important step in diversifying our nation’s energy mix and moving toward a hydrogen economy, which will help reduce America’s need for imported oil in an environmentally friendly manner. The President’s goal is to commercialize fuel cell vehicles, build a hydrogen infrastructure, and bring these vehicles to showrooms by 2020.
Teams from 16 high schools across the country competed in the two racing events in the DOE National Science Bowl Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge. The first, a “speed race” down a
10-meter straightaway, rewards cars that move fast, straight, and are true to the track’s guide wire. The second race, “King of the Hill,” tests a model car’s ability to scale a six-foot inclined track in less than two minutes.
In the “speed race” competition, the three fastest teams took home trophies and cash prizes. The winners in the “speed race” were:
1. Woodrow Wilson High School, Portland, OR
2. Edwin O. Smith High School, Mansfield, CT
3. Capital High School, Charleston, WV
In the “King of the Hill” competition, the first three teams to cross the finish line at the steepest incline won. They were:
1. Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone, ME
2. Chaska High School, Chaska, MN
3. Shasta High School, Redding, CA
The 16 high school teams competing today were selected by lottery from a pool of the DOE National Science Bowl participants requesting to take part in the race.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles use a simple chemical reaction to turn hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity. Unlike a normal internal combustion engine that emits pollutants, the only byproduct of a fuel cell is the pure water vapor. Hydrogen filling stations are already operational in Washington, DC and throughout California. In fact, the United States Postal Service already uses a hydrogen vehicle made by General Motors for mail service in Virginia. Additionally, auto makers from around the globe are investing to make hydrogen-powered transportation available to consumers within the next decade.
More information on the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl is available on the web at http://www.scied.science.doe.gov/nsb/.