Students from Faith Baptist Christian College from the Gladstone Region have emerged victorious at the inaugural Horizon Hydrogen Grand Prix (H2GP) held in Gladstone on Friday, 21 April 2023.
‘Faith and Furious’ completed 542 laps in just under four hours to win the competition by taking home the Endurance Award.
The winning team was made up of five students including Kaleb Galea, Mason Byers, Lola Howells, Kate Alcorn and Emily Sauvageot.
This award saw them complete the most laps using a limited quantity of hydrogen fuel, and also sees them qualify for the World Finals held in Las Vegas in the United States, later in the year.
St. Alysious College’s 'Enginmatics' team took out the Innovation Award and Pimlico State High School’s 'Ark Angels' received the Design Award.
Mason, aged 15, from the winning team said he was thrilled to be crowned champions of the H2GP in Australia.
“We encountered several problems with our car during the race,” Mason said.
“The hydrogen sticks we were using were not working at first, and there were several issues with the car's functionality in general, but with teamwork and perseverance we found creative solutions to these problems. We’re going to Las Vegas, we’re absolutely pumped.
“It feels amazing to be a school with less than 200 kids, competing and winning at a worldwide level.”
All competing teams in this year’s competition have been designing and building their cars since last year, with group members dedicating significant amounts of time to perfecting their vehicle design and practising their driving skills as part of the Hydrogen Grand Prix (H2GP) program delivered by Horizon Educational.
The H2GP initiative is a global school-based science and engineering program run by Horizon Educational, providing hands-on experience designing, engineering and racing 1:10-scale fuel cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen. Students taking part gain employable skills in science and technology while also developing competence in critical thinking, creativity and teamwork.
Director of APAC at Horizon Educational Ales Rakovsky said that he was impressed by all the entries in Australia’s first-ever H2GP event and congratulated all the teams involved.
“The first Australian H2GP was a great success and Gladstone was the perfect destination to host the event.
“The region is a thriving hub for industry and innovation and the teams participating have enjoyed great support in the lead-up to the competition – and today – from local experts,” said Rakovsky.
The Hydrogen Grand Prix was made possible thanks to support from the Queensland Government, Stanwell, CQUniversity, the Gladstone Regional Council and thirteen other industry and community sponsors.
CQUniversity’s Associate Vice-President for the Wide Bay and Gladstone Regions, Mr Luke Sinclair said that CQUniversity was proud to be among a group of partners who worked together to bring the national event to Gladstone.
“Central Queensland is poised to become a regional leader when it comes to clean energy production and innovation, and we are extremely proud to be engaging a new generation in the opportunities that are aligned with this.
“The partners involved in this event all recognise the potential for a thriving local renewables industry in Gladstone, but to achieve this it is critical that we work together now to encourage young people to work towards careers in the renewables sector.
“We hope that the students who participated in this event today have been inspired to progress their interest in hydrogen and renewables and that they will continue to acquire new skills and knowledge that will be required for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Mr Sinclair.
Stanwell CEO Michael O’Rourke said Stanwell was proud to be a key partner of the H2GP which will now be held in Central Queensland for the next three years.
“We are delighted to be associated with and sponsoring the H2 Grand Prix for the next three years. This event is a great opportunity to showcase the potential of hydrogen power and aligns strongly with Stanwell's strategy to drive the development of Queensland's Hydrogen industry and use new energy technologies, in order to help create a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.”
“We look forward to seeing what exciting innovations come out of this competition over the next few years,” said Mr O’Rourke.
Palaszczuk Government Minister and Gladstone local member Glenn Butcher also congratulated the winners.
“Congratulations to Faith and Furious and to all those who participated,” said Butcher.
“You were all stars, and I hope you continue to pursue interests, study and a career in renewable energy.
“It’s the future of Queensland and we are well-poised to achieve our targets under the government’s $62 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.”
Plans are now in place to recruit new teams of students from across Australia to participate in Regional Horizon H2GP events, including in Central Queensland. The location and venue for the 2024 national event will be confirmed later this year.
Schools interested in entering a team and participating in the H2GP program from Horizon Educational can visit the Horizon Educational website.
My role is to get more Queenslander's involved in science and Innovation and this is a fabulous event which we've been able to bring together a large number of sponsors schools students industry Community to have Australia's first Australian National hydrogen Grand Prix.
Thank you, yeah well uh we be as a horizon educational we set up this educational programs a long time ago almost decade ago when hydrogen particularly was not really important or big thing but uh there were a couple of people in in our company they had this Vision that the hydrogen will become very important commodity and it will be like alternative fuel and and power generation uh option so they they start developing the educational kids uh the science kids and and they they start developing educational programs when the students like The Young Generation can learn about this new technology and and we prepare we believe that we preparing the new Workforce which will be which will be important in the future.
It's a big opportunity for them being a smaller School of about 100 students this is a wonderful occasion for us to be able to engage not only with the community but expanding their learning and their learning experience so this is different than the normal classroom yeah that even now they're they're working through some you know technical difficulties let's say as they're in the race and I think it's great great experience for them.
It's about obviously promoting hydrogen but also the students coming in and getting that understanding of engineering principles working together real life situations.
So I think it's important with all the fossil fuels we have burning up the environment we look into new more economical ideas such as hydrogen green Energy electric vehicles all that stuff that's less bad to the environment.
Um we've learned about the car and all the processes for the hydrogen and getting it to the battery fuel cell and then going and actually the car moving and stuff so the hydrogen it trickle feeds into the battery and then the battery power I designed the shell of our car so it's number 16 if you look at it but what I did is so me and the other guy on the team we were designing shirts and stuff and so we kind of mushed our ideas lots of time I think we did like 10 different shirt designs and we picked the one we like and we stuck it on the car basically and added spots and stuff and it looks really good.
Oh hydrogen's got a huge future if we want our kids to have a future and we want our communities to have a future then we need to be doing exactly what CQU is doing today we need to have these guys training and getting used to these Technologies and learning to um to deal with them so they've got a they've got a future because of this.