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High School Teams from Connecticut and West Virginia Win DOE’s National Science Bowl® Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge


WASHINGTON, DC – Teams of high school students from Edwin O. Smith High School in Storrs, Connecticut and Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, West Virginia won first place in their events today at the annual U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. The first event, contested on a ten meter straight track, rewarded the fastest cars. The second event tested a model car’s ability to scale a six-foot inclined track in less than two minutes. The winning teams won cash prizes of $1,750 for their schools’ science departments.

“I congratulate the winners of today’s DOE National Science Bowl® Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge,” said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Under Secretary for Science. “Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology plays an important role in reaching President Bush’s goal of reducing America’s gasoline consumption by 20 percent in 10 years. The students who built and raced these model hydrogen fuel cell cars today are helping the President’s goal become a reality.”

Teams from 32 high schools across the country competed in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge’s two events. In the ten meter straight track competition, the three fastest teams took home trophies and cash prizes. The top three finishers in this race were:

1. Edwin O. Smith High School; Storrs, Connecticut
2. Cape Elizabeth High School; Cape Elizabeth, Maine
3. Albuquerque Academy; Albuquerque, New Mexico

In the inclined track competition, the first three teams to cross the finish line at the steepest incline won. The top three finishers in this race were:

1. Bridgeport High School; Bridgeport, West Virginia
2. Shasta High School; Redding, California
3. Regina Education Center; Iowa City, Iowa

President Bush’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative (HFI), a component of the Advanced Energy Initiative, accelerates the pace of research and development on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for use in transportation, electricity generation and portable power. Working with industry, academia, and the national labs, DOE has developed a long-term plan for moving toward widespread implementation of hydrogen technologies - a solution that holds the potential to provide virtually limitless clean, safe, secure, affordable, and reliable energy from diverse domestic resources. Ultimately, hydrogen could become one of a diverse set of alternatives that will address the energy needs of the United States. For the fiscal year 2008, the HFI budget request is $309 million.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles use a simple chemical reaction to turn hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity. Unlike a normal internal combustion engine that emits pollutants, the only byproduct of a fuel cell is water vapor. Hydrogen filling stations are already operational in Washington, DC and throughout California. In fact, the United States Postal Service already uses a hydrogen vehicle made by General Motors for mail service in Virginia. Additionally, auto makers around the globe are investing to make hydrogen-powered transportation available to consumers within the next decade.

Please call the Press Room to arrange interviews. More information on the DOE National Science Bowl is available on the web at


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