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First Hydrogen Vehicle by High School

Project HICE

Students of the Los Altos Academy of Engineering have created a one-of-a-kind hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicle (HICE). This is the first to be built by high school students and is rare even among the car industry.

The Los Altos Academy of Engineering is a student-run program that offers high school students opportunities to explore career paths through education, training in vocational and business skills, hands-on experience, and exposure to engineering and technology.

President Obama’s State of the Union Address mentioned a need for change in education and a focus on energy research. His focus goes hand in hand with the guiding principles of the academy as it has a twenty-year history producing energy efficient vehicles.

In addition, the academy’s students excel in mathematics and science as students work on engineering projects more innovative than those currently offered in the marketplace. The Los Altos Academy of Engineering truly offers the world-class education mentioned by the President, to a group of high school students diverse in backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders, working in a team and project oriented environment.

Despite recent economic turmoil, students have further driven themselves to complete HICE (Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine). HICE is a one-of-a-kind vehicle utilizing a student-modified engine to use hydrogen as a fuel. HICE is different from traditional hydrogen cars as they are generally fuel cell vehicles. The concept behind this vehicle is similar to that of a gasoline vehicle. Using a four-stroke engine, it is designed to burn hydrogen without the use of gasoline, therefore reducing carbon emissions.

LAAE will be hosting its fifth annual open house on May 8th in order to showcase the first hydrogen internal combustion vehicle built by high school students. This vehicle is also amongst the first to be built by any technical institution. In addition, the Los Altos Academy of Engineering would like to invite media outlets, elected officials, and community and business leaders to the fifth annual open house.

Other historical and eye-widening projects will also be displayed. Among them include: Solar Shadow, the only high school solar vehicle that raced across Australia in the World Solar Challenge; Infusion, the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle built by high school students, which won first place in the Shell Eco-marathon; Speed Racer, one of the first electric cars built by the program; and Project Zeus the school’s entry government sponsored DARPA Grand Challenge.

The LAAE at Los Altos High School is a joint program between the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District and La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program. Founded in 1989, the LAAE is one of the remaining career and technical education programs in California and is also the only engineering academy amongst public high schools.

LAAE has many notable achievements building alternative energy vehicles. The Los Altos Academy of Engineering is a student-run program that offers high school students opportunities to explore career paths through education, training in vocational and business skills, hands-on experience, and exposure to engineering and technology.

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