New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

H2AC: hydrogen Automotive Challenge as a Novel Approach to STEM Popularization in Czech Republic

Václav Bystrianský, UCT Prague (Czech Republic)

Abstract

H2AC is a unique educational challenge for upper-level secondary school students worldwide, which teaches STEM concepts and renewable energy technology. This year, for the fourth time, more than 120 students from Czech high schools were guided by a curriculum over 12-20 weeks, during which these students perform hands-on experiments and as a team design, test and build a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell 1/10th scale car. In the first four weeks the students broaden their knowledge and get along with fundamentals of renewable energy via hands on experiments. Experience gained during these experiments is then applied in second phase - building and development of hybrid car powered by hydrogen fuel cell. The car needs to be designed as a competition car, which means that the students must consider not only correct assembly of the vehicle but also fabricate custom parts, optimize transmission ratio, weight distribution, engine electronics, etc. in order to be prepared for the final phase – national final. National final is organized as a six hour endurance race where all 20 student teams come together with their car and compete against other teams. The team which drove the most laps becomes the winner and will proudly represent the Czech Republic at the international final. Nevertheless also other teams has a chance to become a winner in other categories as Best Design, Most Efficient Energy Use, etc. Because of this the main idea of the program is not only creating the model, but especially arousing an interest and enthusiasm for new technologies, as well as critical thinking on global issues.

Keywords: STEM, educational challenge, renewable energy, project based learning

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