What is “Fuel Cell”?
Located in the basement of the school, find out what the mysterious "fuel cell" class really is
Every student at DHS has probably heard some of their tech ed classmates talking about the “fuel cell” class, and like me, they were very confused and didn’t even know what a fuel cell was. It took me four years of being a student at DHS to understand what the fuel cell class is (real name: Principles of Engineering) which I am currently a part of working under the business aspect of the class.
I had no idea what a fuel cell was until this year. To be completely honest I only joined this class because I wanted to try something new, which I did last semester and happened to work out nicely. At first glance you might think this class is revolved around building a fuel cell which is a power source that only runs on hydrogen and emits steam, but that is very false. This class is about building a car that runs off the power from a fuel cell and races in a nationwide competition.
“There are so many more aspects to building the car then the work on the fuel cell. There is an electrical system, mechanical engineering process, and a business aspect which all help to ensure the success of the fuel cell car in competition”, senior Shandaken Ford said.
Don’t be threatened by the fancy words and engineering features of the class; students are not expected to have any previous knowledge and are encouraged to learn from others. There is a job for everyone and a lot of room to grow both intellectually and personally.
There is a Principles of Engineering class that runs every semester in order to ensure the success of students building the car and hopefully making it to the annual competition. Last years race was located in Detroit and several DHS students accompanied Mr. Reynolds in showcasing/racing the car. This year’s competition is in Sonoma, California, but because of the wildfires, Shell limited the amount of cars able to compete which was based off a lottery system. The class now has a three semesters to build the car, instead of two. This semester has been focused around planning, sketching, and designing the car to be built later in the spring.
In order for the car to be built successfully with a good hope of winning next year’s competition, the class needs to raise at least $5,000 of money donated from organizations not associated with the school. This money goes directly into buying the materials needed for building the car and making it more efficient.
The Principles of Engineering class (“fuel cell class”, incase you forgot already) is geared towards making students more well rounded, team efficient, and complex thinkers and designers that are ready to tackle real world problems and create a product that can be used to educate the public and help advance research about fuel cells. This class forces students to reach outside their boundaries and work on a team towards a common goal. If you are looking to be a part of something bigger, join the fuel cell team and enroll in Principles of Engineering next semester.