Gladstone high schoolers were racing to learn about the potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles this week in preparation for the Horizon Hydrogen Grand Prix (H2GP) final in April.
The Horizon H2GP is a school-based science and engineering program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to consider a career in Queensland’s renewable technology sector.
The ‘Toolooa CQU Hydrojets’ team, comprised of six Year 10 Toolooa State High School students sponsored by CQUniversity, worked on their vehicle and received expert mentoring from CQU Lecturer Kevin Stone and Chair in Hydrogen and Renewable Energies Professor Murray Shearer.
The students worked with their mentors to review and plan mechanical design changes to both the car and the controller, and to brainstorm ideas for autonomous monitoring of fuel consumption using Arduino. As part of the competition, they are assessed on aspects including hydrogen (hydrostiks) consumption, design, innovation and organisation. It’s part of a six-month learning program that culminates in the Australian Horizon H2GP Grand Prix.
Twelve teams from seven Central Queensland schools are among those participating in the program. The Grand Prix is four-hour race to be held at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre on 21 April 2023. Winners of the Australian H2GP will travel to Las Vegas for the World Finals.
Students Bailey Scott, Marianne Golding and Sophie Slack said they were excited about the prospect of making the finals.
“I would like to at least achieve a place in the nationals or move onto the worldwide event. I would like to learn more about the Arduino team and the coding, as well as the mechanics,” Bailey said.
Bailey is interested in electrical engineering and drones.
Marianne said she enjoyed the experience of working with both hydrogen and the different components that go into getting the car to move.
“When I first came into the group, I had no idea what to do and I have learned quite a bit and I’d like to learn more as it goes on,” she said.
“I am interested in engineering. It is a career I am interested in exploring. I am planning to do engineering in senior and lots of maths-based subjects.”
Sophie said she hoped to learn more about energy and how that will change the future.
“I would also like to meet more like-minded people who are interested in engineering and the STEM side of school,” she said.
“I have enjoyed learning about the mechanics in the car. What makes it go and how will the parts work together to make the car work.
“I want to be a mechatronic engineer. I like the software aspect. I like coding and working on how coding will work worth with robots in the future.”