The Future of Alternative Fuels is in High School, Reports Edmunds' GreenCarAdvisor.com
"High school students around the country are designing and building alt-fuel vehicle prototypes for classes or student-run clubs on or near campus," reported Edmunds' GreenCarAdvisor.com Contributor Danny King. "These schools and clubs are developing experts-in-training in the alternative-fuels field as automakers and car component manufacturers address tightening emissions and gas-mileage standards in both the U.S. and overseas."
- Evansville, IN's Mater Dei High School's Supermileage club has been building lightweight, high-gas-mileage vehicles for the better part of a decade and won a grand prize in the recent Shell Eco-Marathon when its one-person vehicle got the equivalent of 437 miles per gallon.
- Hacienda Heights, CA's Los Altos Academy of Engineering students invited President Obama to view its handmade hydrogen-powered, battery-powered and solar-powered vehicles at the academy's upcoming open house.
- San Diego, CA's School of Science and Technology — better known as SciTech — is teaching students how to turn cooking grease waste into biodiesel.
- San Diego, CA's Crawford Senior High School students have converted one of the school's 22-horsepower lawnmowers to run on propane. They also received a $34,000 donation from NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson that will be used to rebuild a small-block V-8 engine so that it will be able to run on propane and ethanol blends.
- Syracuse, NY's Cicero-North Syracuse High School recently built a prize-winning hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that achieved the equivalent of 1,837 miles per gallon in the Shell Eco-Marathon in Houston.
Alt-fuel and engineering students often work their way into either college scholarships or jobs within the utilities and transportation industries. Program members have gone on to engineering schools at Stanford, Cornell, MIT and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
"There are not many high schools with this type of program, and not nearly enough public funding supporting the ones that do exist," commented GreenCarAdvisor.com Senior Editor John O'Dell. "Now is the time for us to begin expanding the efforts to educate our young people so that they can develop the technologies of tomorrow."
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Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.