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Posted November 12, 2013

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Mid-Schoolers from Around NM will Race Hydrogen-Powered Cars

250 students will display, race cars beginning at 9 a.m., Nov. 16, at Highland High gym

Students from Albuquerque and 50 middle schools across the state will demonstrate what they’ve learned about building and operating hydrogen-powered vehicles in the 8th Annual Alternative Fuels Challenge from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, in the main gym at Highland High School, 4700 Coal Ave. SE.

More than 250 mid-school students will compete and be scored based on how their cars do in a race, the design of their vehicle and an oral presentation. Students use a provided hydrogen fuel cell and electric motor, along with their imaginations to create the most unique and fastest hydrogen-powered car.

Trophies are presented to winners in the three different competitions—the race, design and oral presentation—and overall awards also are given. Cash prizes will be presented to three teachers for their school science departments to assist them in expanding energy education at their school.

Sandia National Laboratories/Lockheed Martin, Los Alamos National Laboratory and PNM co-host the event and provide the fuel cells and the prizes.

“The competition emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM in a project-based learning event,” said Ron Rioux, who is the APS energy conservation coordinator.

He noted that the hydrogen-powered cars the students have built and will race use a simple chemical reaction to turn hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity. “It’s very clean energy. The only byproduct is water vapor,” Rioux added.

As part of the event, there will be hands-on activities set up in the auxiliary gym at the school.

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