25 schools compete at London Schools Hydrogen Challenge‎ final

19 March 2015

• 1,260 young people took part in this year’s challenge • 136 pupils from 25 teams reached the final • Pupils were challenged to design, build and test hydrogen-powered model cars using custom-designed Lego kits‎

136 pupils from 25 London schools have gathered at City Hall to compete in the final of this year’s London Schools Hydrogen Challenge. ‎ Teams from across the capital were competing to see how far their custom-designed Lego cars could travel fuelled by just one 10ml syringe of hydrogen.‎ The teams reached the final after successfully competing against groups of their classmates in a three-month series of workshops delivered by the Hydrogen London programme. The team in each school that raced the furthest during their workshops won a place in the City Hall final.

The overall winning team came from Hall Mead School in Havering, whose Lego car travelled 24 metres. They were closely followed by John Roan School from Greenwich with a distance of 23.5 metres. In third place was Palmers Green High School from Enfield with 20.5 metres.

Following a certificate presentation ceremony at City Hall, the ‎winning team ‎will now be given the opportunity to visit one of the hydrogen stations in London where they will see a hydrogen vehicle and hydrogen technology in action. Other prizes include renewable energy sets and bio-energy kits containing miniature wind turbines and solar panels that teams were able to take back to their schools and use to generate carbon neutral power.

Hydrogen London has the aim of promoting hydrogen as a mainstream fuel and developing London’s hydrogen economy. Over the course of the competition young people have developed hands-on scientific skills such as iterative design – the process of building a prototype and testing, analysing, and refining their product.

For the third year running, the Mayor’s Hydrogen London programme partnered with Arcola Energy to deliver the schools competition. Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor’s senior environment and energy advisor, said: “The London Schools Hydrogen Challenge is all about teaching young people about the potential of hydrogen as a cleaner, low carbon fuel whilst helping to fuel their interest in science. Whether pupils reached the final or not, I congratulate each and every participant in this year’s challenge which has proved a huge success.’’ 136 pupils took part in today’s competition, which has seen 1,260 young people get involved across this year. The challenge is comprised‎ of workshops that teach pupils to design, build and test hydrogen-powered model cars using custom-designed Lego kits. During the workshops, engineers who build functional hydrogen vehicles ‎acted as mentors to offer guidance and support, providing young people with experience of the latest technologies. Throughout this process, the pupils have acquired knowledge about the potential of hydrogen as a low-carbon source of energy.

Since the London Schools Hydrogen Challenge started in 2012, almost 3,000 young people have taken part and learnt how hydrogen can be used as a fuel source. Ben Todd, Managing Director of Arcola Energy, said: “The London Schools Hydrogen Challenge is the high point of our international education programme which spans Aberdeen to Abu Dhabi. Every year the London students do the city proud with a spectacular display of ingenuity and promise. Thank you to our sponsors without which this would not be possible.” The London Schools Hydrogen Challenge draws to a close an exhibition running at City Hall that shows how hydrogen can be used as an alternative source of power.

Notes to editors

ENDS Notes to editors:

1. The winners of this year’s London Schools Hydrogen Challenge are: • 1st prize - Hall Mead School, Havering – 24 metres • 2nd prize - John Roan School, Greenwich – 23.5 metres • 3rd prize - Palmers Green High School, Enfield – 20.5 metres

2. The London Schools Hydrogen Challenge is delivered by the Mayor of London and Arcola Energy as ‎part of the Hydrogen London programme. Sponsorship is from TfL and ITM Power.

3. Hydrogen London was set up in 2002 to develop a network of hydrogen fuel cell stakeholders in the capital. It has 30 high profile members, including the Mayor of London.

4. Hydrogen London supports the deployment of hydrogen fuel cell projects in the capital, including transport.‎ Projects include: • The first hydrogen fuelled passenger cars deployed in the UK. • Improved planning permission processes for hydrogen fuelling stations so that they can be delivered more quickly. • ‎An aim for six hydrogen filling stations in London by autumn 2016.

5. The 25 schools that reached the final were: • Robert Clack School – Barking and Dagenham • Wren Academy – Barnet • Dwight School London – Barnet • Finchley Catholic High School – Barnet • The Priory School – Bromley • Charles Darwin School – Bromley • La Sainte Union Catholic School – Camden • Great Ormond Street Hospital School – Camden • Harris Academy Crystal Palace – Croydon • Winchmore School – Enfield • Kingsmead School – Enfield • Palmers Green High School – Enfield • Royal Greenwich UTC – Greenwich • John Roan School – Greenwich • City Academy – Hackney • Greig City Academy – Haringey • Park View School – Haringey • Hornsey School for Girls – Haringey • Hall Mead School – Havering • Kingsley Academy – Hounslow • Prendergast School – Lewisham • Bethnal Green Academy – Tower Hamlets • Ashcroft Academy – Wandsworth • Saint Cecilia’s – Wandsworth • Quintin Kynaston Academy – Westminster