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Alternative Fuels Challenge this Weekend

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Middle school students compete with model cars

Middle school students from as far away as Los Alamos and Carlsbad will show off what they’ve learned about operating a hydrogen-powered vehicle at the Albuquerque Public Schools 4th Annual Energy STARS Model Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Challenge from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday at Wilson Middle School.

The STARS (Schools Teaching About Resource Sustainability) program teaches students about the importance of finding sustainable sources of energy and reducing society’s dependence on oil.

About 43 student teams have built model cars for this competition that is scored based on a race, design of the vehicle and an essay and oral presentation answering, “What impacts, positive or negative, might hydrogen fuel technology have on our society?” Students were given fuel cells and a motor. For the rest of the car, teams of 4-6 members were free to use their imaginations.

 The cars will race along 10-meter straightaway tracks in a double-elimination format. Winners in the four categories will receive cash prizes for their schools’ science departments. PNM,  Sandia Labs, and Los Alamos Labs provided the fuel cells and prizes.

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