Posted Friday, December 14th, 2018

Boonton, Madison, Morris Knolls and Roxbury High Schools,  and the Morris County School of Technology Participated

photo shows students working on their H2 Challenge vehicles in the school gym

photos provided by TransOptions

Incredibly talented students from Morris County and across North Jersey raced their specially designed vehicles to the finish line on Wednesday (Dec. 12) in the 12th annual Hydrogen Car Challenge (H2 Challenge) hosted by TransOptions, and held at the New Providence Middle School.

Thirty nine teams and more than 100 students from eleven schools from four New Jersey counties competed in the H2 Challenge, which seeks to promote technology in education and foster student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Participating high schools included Boonton, Madison, Morris Knolls, Roxbury, and the Morris County School of Technology from Morris County. Other competitors were High Point Regional, Kittatinny Regional, and Newton high schools from Sussex County; New Providence and Union County Magnet high schools from Union County; and Piscataway High School from Middlesex County.

“STEM education is essential in today’s competitive technological world and we want to make sure the students in New Jersey are getting the best chance at making a mark on those industries,” said TransOptions President Dan Callas.TransOptions Challenges Students in Hydrogen Car Challenge

“These programs allow my students to think independently, build skills and gets them ready for careers outside of college. H2 fits into Next Generation Science Standards and allows students that might not excel academically and traditional pathways to really become great problem solvers while building their self esteem, said Denise Glenn, Science Supervisor at Roxbury Township Public Schools.

Prior to race day, students were tasked with forming teams, designing a model car, logging their work in a progress journal and learning the process of running their model cars on hydrogen, simulating real-life engineering. The process known as electrolysis powers their model car’s fuel cell stack with hydrogen and allows students to learn more about fuel cell technology.

On race day, Students competed against each other, racing their cars down a 33-foot-long track. Each of the teams were required to present their model car at the judges’ table where a panel of Arconic Engineers scored on craftsmanship and engineering. Each team also presented their progress journal that documented the concepts, designs and development of their model car.

Arconic, based in Dover New Jersey, helps transform the way we fly, drive, build and power a smarter energy future.TransOptions Challenges Students in Hydrogen Car Challenge

Several rounds of elimination races took place concluding with the two fastest cars racing against each other to determine the speed competition winner. Prizes were awarded for speed, craftsmanship, engineering and progress Journal at an awards ceremony at the culmination of the competition.

The winners:

Speed
1st Place – “Zoinks: Mystery Machine” by Piscataway High School
2nd Place – “Tardis 4.0” by Kittatinny Regional High School
3rd Place – “Gear Up!” by Piscataway High School

Craftsmanship
1st Place – “Brick” by Union County Magnet High School
2nd Place – “Team Apex” by High Point Regional High School
3rd Place – “MK2 Free Willy” by Morris Knolls High School

Engineering
1st Place – “Back Yerdigans” by High Point Regional High School
2nd Place – “Team Apex” by High Point Regional High School
3rd Place – “Baby Shark” by Union County High School

Progress Journal
1st Place – “New Providence Seniors” by New Providence High School
2nd Place – “CARY McCARFACE” by Union County High School
3rd Place – “Brick” by Union County High School

The H2 Challenge is one of two hands-on STEM programs offered by TransOptions. The challenge was launched in 2007, and the program is open to high school students only. The program builds on the foundation set by Junior Solar Sprints.

“H2 is a big part of our ongoing commitment to supporting environmental education, sustainable fuel technology and inspiring students to explore careers in related fields,” Kristen Tomasicchio, Environmental Education Manager, TransOptions.

Data collected by TransOptions over a six year period shows that 87.5 percent of students showed more interest in STEM after participating in JSS. Data also showed that 75% showed interest in majoring in STEM after competing in the challenge.

Materials for the program are funded through grant support provided by Arconic, 3M and Pitsco Education.

TransOptions is the non-profit transportation management association for northwest New Jersey. TransOptions delivers programs to improve mobility, the environment and overall quality of life of residents and commuters. Visit www.TransOptions.org to learn more about our free Environmental Education programs.TransOptions Challenges Students in Hydrogen Car Challenge