The challenges of the 21st century demand a skilled, technical citizenry. H2 Grand Prix PRO provides students with hands-on experience that will open them to a world of education and career opportunities.
H2 Grand Prix PRO is supported by a curriculum that takes students through the evidence for global climate change, potential solutions, and the necessary skills to build and test a solution on their own.
Over the course of our program, students will work collaboratively, bringing their car from the design stages through prototyping and manufacture, as well as engaging with chemistry, physics, engineering, and math problems along the way. The program culminates in a multi-hour endurance race that begins with video presentations, design judging, then a full endurance race where students are in charge of everything from running and fixing the car to planning, designing, and implementing solutions to the challenges they encounter.
Students in H2 Grand Prix PRO will spend a semester tackling topics in renewable energy and automotive engineering. The content is phased, with stage building knowledge that puts the students one step closer to competing on race day.
PHASE I DEFINING THE PROBLEM
Phase I is centered on defining the problem of global climate change. Students analyze data from scientific organizations and engage with hands on experiments on renewable energy technologies.
How is Earth’s climate changing? What evidence do we have for it? And what kinds of things can we do to combat it? Students will use hands-on lab activities and online resources to explore the argument for a warming planet, discuss the pros and cons of various renewable energy technologies, and determine the various solutions available for providing a mobile source of energy for transportation.
✓ Examine the evidence for global climate change and its effect on humans worldwide.
Renewable Energy Solutions
✓ Explore the benefits and limitations of different types of renewable energy resources.
Hydrogen value chain
✓ Compare the energy storage capabilities of an electrolyzing fuel cell and a battery.
Recommended Science Kits
Biofuels, Electrochemistry, Electrolysis, Energy, Ethanol Reactions, Hydrogen Generation, Organic Chemistry, pH, Reaction Rates, Reaction Yield, Reactions, Redox Reactions, Semiconductors, Solution Concentrations
Angular velocity, Capacitors, Classical Mechanics, Current/Voltage, Efficiency, Electric Charge, Electric Circuits, Energy, Generators, Heat, Light, Ohm's Law, Parallel Circuits, Power (Electric), Rotational Mechanics, Series Circuits, Thermal Energy.
PHASE II BUILDING A SOLUTION
In Phase II, students begin to construct their own hydrogen-powered car — a potential solution to the problem of global climate change. They design the look of the car, assemble and maintain its power systems, and make sure the car is in good working order.
What are the necessary components of a car? How do the different systems of a car work together to keep the car functioning? What shape would be most advantageous for a car’s body? These questions are explored as students construct a working fuel cell-energized powered RC car, either working from a kit or designing and building from scratch. They will design and build a body to encase their car, using 3D modeling software from Autodesk to test their designs in virtual wind tunnels, and print their body to scale.
Designing Your Own Solution/Assembling the Chassis
✓ Begin designing how your car will eventually look and building your car’s chassis.
Creating with Autodesk
✓ Learn how to use Autodesk software to create a design for the car’s body.
Building a Body
✓ Plan how the body will be constructed, then use chosen method to complete it.
✓ Vacuum-Forming (only if using vacuum-forming to construct car body)Vacuum-Forming (only if using vacuum-forming to construct car body)
Learning to Drive
✓ Determine the limitations on the cars performance and develop driving skills.
Out-of-box creative thinking skills, analytical thinking skills, communication and presentation skills, understanding of technical and production processes, planning skills, interpreting briefs and bringing ideas to life, and understanding of car design principles.
3D design, telemetry, data evaluation, programming
PHASE III TESTING SOLUTION
During Phase III, the students must put the car through its paces to improve it as much as possible leading up to the race day. The goal is for the car to run as long as possible, so fuel efficiency trumps raw speed. They must perform experiments, make measurements, and adjust their car to maximize its performance capabilities.
How can the car achieve the greatest efficiency? What forces do we need to consider when driving the car? How should its steering sensitivity, ground clearance, rear axle differential, and other parameters be adjusted for peak performance? Students will experiment with their car, improving their own driving skills while testing the limits of the car’s capabilities. With the cars and drivers finely tuned, the students and their creations are ready to face off in a four-hour endurance race.
Improving the Car's Performance
✓ Make adjustments to the car chassis, body, and driving style to improve performance.
Maintenance and Making Repairs
✓ Gather data to fix or fine tune parts that are likely to break or wear out while driving.
Completing the Video Presentation
✓ Prepare the video presentation using previously-shot footage and any additions needed.
Writing the Design Report
✓ Use the materials from previous weeks to assemble a report on the car’s design.
Final Race Preparations
✓ Resolve last-minute issues, double-check design and race rules, make final preparations.
Soft skills gained
Teamwork, Confidence, patience, solving complex problems, presenting and public speaking