H2AC at NSTA’s National Conference
On April 1, 2017, We are hosting our Hydrogen Horizon Automotive Challenge (H2AC) at the NSTA national conference in Los Angeles, CA. Over that past 8 months, Toyota has sponsored 20 high schools throughout Southern California to compete in the challenge and learn about all types of renewable energy and how using hydrogen in an automotive setting can be beneficial to the world. The days prior to the race, Toyota will be showcasing their Toyota Mirai (Toyota’s hydrogen powered car) and visitors will be allowed to try out a hydrogen powered RC car to compete for best lap time and a chance to win science kits for their school.
Over the course of the project, Students have learned about climate change, our effect on climate change, and how each type of renewable energy works. We show them the efficiencies and inefficiencies of creating and storing each energy source and allow the students to create their own conclusions on which is the most effective.
Once the students have learned the processes behind each energy, they move onto the application of alternative energy in the real world. Students completing case studies on the uses of renewables, and even study cases that engineers at Toyota faced while developing the Mirai.
After the case studies, the students are ready to develop and build their hydrogen powered RC car. Students are provided a standard chassis and fuel cell and given guidelines from which they can modify their car and body. Through AutoDesk, students learn CAD design to create body prototypes for their chassis. Once they’ve created a digital prototype, students can test the aerodynamics of their body and make changes to make their car more fuel efficient. The last step is for the students decided how they are going to produce their body and what material it will be made of. We provide students the suggested options of 3D printing, CNC, or vacuum forming their bodies, but they are welcome to explore other options in order to create the best looking and most fuel efficient body possible.
Finally, student come to the NSTA’s national conference to race in a 4 hour endurance race and compete in a variety of categories. Prior to the race, the body of each car will be judged by a panel that includes the designer of the Toyota Mirai to determine “Best Design.” Other categories include “Most Fuel Efficient,” “Most Laps,” and “Best Pit-Crew.” Each of these awards will be presented at the conclusion of the race, so come by our track to learn more about Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell car and cheer on your favorite team!