After months and months of hard work, the Mater Dei High School Supermileage team headed to the famed Indianapolis Speedway earlier this week to take part in the Shell Eco-Marathon and put their fuel-efficient concept vehicles to the test. race against other supermileage teams from across the country. In the end, the team won not one, but two first-place trophies for a few cars they built from the ground up that are so fuel-efficient they’ll make your head spin.
What is the Shell Eco-Marathon?
In short, the Eco-Marathon is an annual competition that pits our future engineers (i.e. high school and college students) against each other with the goal of designing and creating vehicles capable of running crazy distances with the smallest amount of fuel possible.
Here is the slightly longer explanation from the Eco-Marathon website:
Shell Eco-marathon is a global academic program focused on energy optimization and one of the world’s leading student engineering competitions. Over the past 35 years, the program has consistently delivered on Shell’s mission to drive progress by delivering more and cleaner energy solutions. The Global Academic Program brings together science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students from around the world to design, build, and operate some of the world’s most energy-efficient vehicles. All in the name of collaboration and innovation, as students’ brilliant ideas help shape a low-carbon future for all.
The team entered two vehicles in this year’s competition; A “prototype”, which looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie (think spaceship with wheels), and an Urban Concept car which, by competition rules, is a more “in working order” designed to meet the needs of the consumer. Within each category there are subcategories including internal combustion which is the same type of engine your car has only MUCH more fuel efficient, battery/electric and hydrogen fuel cell.
Here is a preview of their prototype:
And their Urban Concept:
2022 Shell Eco-marathon results
When the dust settled, Prototype of Mater Dei: Internal Combustion took the top spot registering a mind-boggling 1,142.66 mpg! Nearly 850 miles further than second place, Terre Haute South Vigo High School. To put that into perspective, this kind of fuel efficiency would allow you to drive from Evansville to Albuquerque, New Mexico without having to stop and refuel once! And you would still have fuel to spare!
Their Urban Concept: Battery-Electric project also won a 1st place trophy, beating teams from UCLA, Rice University and the University of British Columbia in Canada with 122 miles per kilowatt.
This isn’t the team’s first eco-rodeo, so to speak, or the first time they’ve brought home trophies. The school has participated in the Eco-Marathon and has placed several times over the past few years.
As a Mater Dei alumnus, I’m proud to see the current Wildcats crop making its mark on the world in a way that can one day benefit everyone. Good work!
[Source: Mater Dei High School Supermileage Team on Facebook / Shell.com]
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