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Model car race tests studentsí engineering, design skills


ARGONNE, Ill. (April 26, 2006) ó Chicago area middle school students will race to see who has built the best model car at a Fuel Cell Car Competition Saturday, April 29, at the Museum of Science and Industry, located at 57 th Street and Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and racing begins at 11:15 a.m. in the Museumís West Pavilion. The competition is part of the Chicago Regional Science Bowl sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Argonne National Laboratory.

Each team is provided with fuel cell car supplies including a reversible fuel cell which is the only item required to be used. Teams may use only one motor on the car.

The rest of the car design and components are limited only by the studentsí imaginations. They will need to design the chassis, gears, wheels, axles and gas collection/storage tank.

The competition requires students to use applied science, and engineering skills to meet technical challenges comparable to those that scientists and engineers face every day.

The competitionís objective is to design and build a vehicle that will complete a race in the shortest possible time. The cars will race on a 10-meter course.

The race winner will be the team whose vehicle is the top finisher in a series of head-to-head, double-elimination rounds. Awards will be given to the top three fastest cars

Design awards also will be given based on innovation (system design), technology (powertrain/chassis), craftsmanship/appearance and presentation.

The results of the fuel cell car competition will help determine the Chicago regionís representative to the National Middle School Science Bowl in June at the University of Denver. The team with the best overall performance in an academic science bowl event ó held earlier this year ó and the fuel cell car competition will advance to the national level.

This yearís participants in theregional Fuel Cell and Solar Car Race Competition include:

* Byrne Elementary School, Chicago
* Cass Jr. High, Darien
* Chippewa Middle School, Des Plaines
* Crone Middle School, Naperville
* Eisenhower Jr. High, Darien
* Hadley Jr. High, Glen Ellyn
* Jerling Jr. High, Orland Park
* Kingswood Academy, Darien
* Neoga Jr. High School, Neoga
* Northridge Prep School, Niles
* Roosevelt Middle School, Riverforest
* St. Johnís Lutheran, LaGrange
* Wright Middle School, Lincolnshire
* Yorkville Middle School, Yorkville

The competition, for students in grades six, seven and eight, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, CNH Case New Holland, General Motors, the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Museum of Science and Industry.

CNH Case New Holland is the power behind leading agricultural and construction equipment brands of the Case and New Holland brand families. The companyís Burr Ridge Operations is located at the northwest corner of the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) and County Line Road in Burr Ridge More information about CNH Case New Holland and its products can be found on line at

The Society of Automotive Engineers provides a forum for engineers involved in the design and production of all kinds of vehicles and their components. It also provides several student participation programs such as the Fuel Cell/Solar Car Competition and A World in Motion to cultivate engineering interest in younger members.

The nationís first national laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600 companies and numerous federal agencies and other organizations to help advance Americaís scientific leadership and prepare the nation for the future. Argonne is managed by the University of Chicago for the U.S. Department of Energyís Office of Science.


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