Four students from Edgewood Junior-Senior High School in Merritt Island recently represented the United States at the International Youth Fuel Cell Competition in Hawaii. They were one of only two teams representing the United States at the competition, which was held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Fuel Cell Seminar.
Florida Solar Energy Center/University of Central Florida (FSEC/UCF) faculty and staff helped to mentor the team, which includes students Michael Granatosky, Melissa Ingram, Martin Moneysmith and Taylor Munsey and instructor Ryan Cilsick.
The team received received the Ovonics Special Award for the Most Insight into the Future of Hydrogen Storage. They were also first-place Winners of the Quiz Bowl and received first place in Car Engineering. They placed second in the Timepiece Artistic competition and were second to the Japanese team in the race of the hydrogen model cars.
The competition included 10 student teams from Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Germany, India and the United States. The teams participated in three events: a design-and-build model fuel cell car race (Engineering and Race), a hydrogen question-and-answer competition (Quiz Bowl) and designing and building a hydrogen ‘timing’ apparatus that doesn’t rely on traditional clock parts (Timepiece). Team designs were judged on knowledge, engineering skills and originality.
The Edgewood team selection to represent the Eastern U.S. was a two-part process. First, the team participated in the Hydrogen Sprint at FSEC, an event of the Energy Whiz Olympics in which teams from the southeastern United States design, build and race model-size vehicles. The students more recently were required to develop and submit a proposal to design and build a fuel-cell timing device. The Edgewood team was selected based on its standing in the Hydrogen Sprint competition and the feasibility of the team¿s proposal for the timing device.
Several FSEC/UCF faculty and staff members, in areas such as the fuel cell lab and machine shop, helped to teach and guide the students, and Penny Hall of FSEC’s K-12 education department accompanied the students on their trip.
The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells. For more information about the center, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu.