The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge was held in April, and teams from thirty-two high schools across the country competed in the competition. The U.S. DOE National Science Bowl began in 2006 as part of President Bush’s American Competitiveness Initiative to ensure that today’s brightest students become tomorrow’s scientific leaders.

hydrogen car competition

Students compete in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge’s inclined track competition at the National Science Bowl. Credit: DOE/NSB, Dennis Brack

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge is a featured event of the National Science Bowl. Students are invited to build race model cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells using everyday household materials and compete in the Challenge’s two main events. The first event, designed to test pure speed of the model cars, took place on a ten-meter straight track. The second competition tested the car’s ability to climb a six-foot inclined track in less than two minutes.

In the ten-meter straight track competition, the three fastest teams took home trophies and cash prizes of $1,750 each. The top three student teams were:

  • Edwin O. Smith High School; Storrs, Connecticut
  • Cape Elizabeth High School; Cape Elizabeth, Maine
  • Albuquerque Academy; Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The first three teams to cross the finish line at the steepest incline in the inclined track competition also received trophies and a $1,750 cash prize for their individual schools. The event’s winners were:

  • Bridgeport High School; Bridgeport, West Virginia
  • Shasta High School; Redding, California
  • Regina Education Center; Iowa City, Iowa.

“I congratulate the winners of today’s DOE National Science Bowl Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge,” said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Under Secretary for Science. “Hydrogen fuel cell technology plays an important role in reaching President Bush’s goal of reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in ten years. The students who built and raced those model hydrogen fuel cell cars today are helping the President’s goal become a reality.”

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