• Model Car Race Tests Students Engineering, Design Skills

    Fuell Cell Car
Chicago area middle school students will race to see who has built the best model car at a Fuel Cell Car Competition Saturday, April 29, at the Museum of Science and Industry, located at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and racing begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Museum’s West Pavilion. The competition is part of the Chicago Regional Science Bowl sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory. Each team is provided with fuel cell car supplies including a reversible fuel cell which is the only item required to be used. Teams may use only one motor on the car. The rest of the car design and components are limited only by the students’ imaginations. They will need to design the chassis, gears, wheels, axles and gas collection/storage tank. The competition requires students to use applied science, and engineering skills to meet technical challenges comparable to those that scientists and engineers face every day.
The objective of the competition is to design and build a vehicle that will complete a race in the shortest possible time. The cars will race on a 10-meter course. The race winner will be the team whose vehicle is the top finisher in a series of head-to-head, double-elimination rounds. Awards will be given to the top three fastest cars.

Design awards also will be given based on innovation (system design), technology (powertrain/chassis), craftsmanship/appearance and presentation.
The results of the fuel cell car competition will help determine the Chicago region’s representative to the National Middle School Science Bowl in June at the University of Denver. The team with the best overall performance in an academic science bowl event — held earlier this year — and the fuel cell car competition will advance to the national level. This year’s participants in the Fuel Cell and Solar Car Race Competition include:

  • Byrne Elementary School, Chicago
  • Cass Jr. High, Darien
  • Chippewa Middle School, Des Plaines
  • Crone Middle School, Naperville
  • Eisenhower Jr. High, Darien
  • Hadley Jr. High, Glen Ellyn
  • Jerling Jr. High, Orland Park
  • Kingswood Academy, Darien
  • Neoga Jr. High School, Neoga
  • Northridge Prep School, Niles
  • Roosevelt Middle School, Riverforest
  • St. John’s Lutheran, LaGrange
  • Wright Middle School, Lincolnshire
  • Yorkville Middle School, Yorkville

The competition, for students in grades six, seven and eight, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, CNH Case New Holland, General Motors, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Museum of Science and Industry.

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