Alternative Energy 2A: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
This is a fun way to learn about energy, physics, and engineering while building and racing your own 1:20 scale model car. Experience the excitement of new fuel cell technology, and discover the possibility of using 100% clean fuel to power cars of the future. All students will get to keep their car designs when the class is over.
This class is for middle and high school students (the curriculum is designed for 7th-9th-graders) interested in learning how to make their own hydrogen fuel cell vehicle at the 1:20 scale. Students will learn about green energy advancements, hydrogen as an “energy carrier” and its use in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This will include a brief history and look towards the future of fuel, including an overview of current technologies in alternative energies such as algae biofuels, wind and solar technologies.
During the construction of the car, we will utilize Computer Aided Design (CAD) for modeling the custom chassis at a 1:20 scale, which we will then have custom laser cut for each unique vehicle. In addition to CAD, there will be basic Physics, Chemistry, Math, and mechanical engineering principals to help design the improvements on the vehicle. At the end of the course, you will have created your own 1:20 scale hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle that works! You will then compete for the fastest drag racer design, in an exciting Hydrogen Fuel Cell Race and Competition.
Course: Alternative Energy 2A: Applications – Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
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The goal of this course is to provide a strong and creative foundation in design, technology, engineering, and science, incorporating basic concepts of physics related to force, drag and motion, and basic chemistry related to hydrogen fuel cell principles. This is a hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) course that will incorporate real life design and prototype construction principles. This is a project-based class that incorporates these principles, with creative engineering as the primary means of investigating and applying relevant concepts.
The class is geared toward 7th-9th-grade students, it is useful to have basic understanding of computers, basic math, geometry, physics, chemistry (although this is not necessary; we will review necessary fundamentals of math and physics in the beginning of the course). Some computer design knowledge is also helpful but not necessary, since students will work with assistance to customize and incorporate ideas on how to improve the efficiencies of the vehicle.
The final outcome of this class will be a student-produced 1:20 scale vehicle. Students will have learned about and employed principles related to CAD, Physics, Chemistry, Math, and mechanical engineering to produce and test the vehicle.
This course is taught using classroom and lab instruction employing lecture/demonstration, in-class exercises, student participation, and class activities leading to a final project. Classes will include introductory concept presentations, followed by in-class exercises. The first couple of sessions will be more fundamental (general chemistry, physics, CAD etc), but will subsequently expand to cover necessary knowledge for computer design, applied physics, and digital fabrication. Throughout, there will also be handouts and brief presentations on relevant concepts.
Learn more about hydrogen here: http://www.h2andyou.org/facts.asp