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The Future of Alternative Fuels is in High School

April 22, 2010
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SANTA MONICA, CA - Edmunds’ GreenCarAdvisor.com has profiled five high schools with impressive programs that may change the future of the country’s roads.

“High school students around the country are designing and building alt-fuel vehicle prototypes for classes or student-run clubs on or near campus,” says 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,” says 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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