Kranz Hosts Horizon Grand Prix Tech Day

Kranz Hosts Horizon Grand Prix Tech Day

     Kranz Intermediate School hosted the recent Horizon Grand Prix Tech Day where middle and high school Horizon Hydrogen Race Teams from Southern California gathered, including the 15 member Kranz Cougar Hydrogen Race Team, led by teacher, Tim Otters. 

     The Horizon Grand Prix is a science and engineering program in which students in high school and middle school design and race hydrogen-powered RC cars. Kranz Intermediate’s team placed 13th in last year’s race and hopes to excel this year too. 

     Facilitating the Tech Day was Steven Griffith, Project Manager, Race Coordinator and Fuel Cell Technical Adviser for Horizon Educational, who is also Kranz Intermediate alumnus.

         “As a former Kranz student, it means a lot to me personally to promote this type of program in our local community,” said Griffith.  “I would have killed to have a program like this when I was in middle school so I’m excited to have it here for the students at Kranz and other local middle and high schools.” 

     In addition to covering the rules and regulations of the race and strategies for building an effective hydrogen race car, teams in attendance were able to hear about Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology from a representative from Toyota who brought the new Toyota Mirai which is the future of motoring, running solely on hydrogen.

      Through the Horizon program, the student teams design and fabricate a car that is powered by hydrogen, from sketching out a design to coming up with a plan of how to build their car and what source materials to use that are strong enough to hold the components for the fuel cell system yet light enough to allow the car to travel as far as possible.  The program’s content is developed together with clean energy experts from industry and specialized science educators and the structure is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core and Energy Literacy Principles.

     “This program is a great way to get kids excited about new technology and we are happy to host the Tech Day,” said Otters.  “My students have built a race track outside of my classroom that we practice on and they are really embracing the science and engineering that goes into building their car and racing.  Through the program they are incorporating physics, science, technology, engineering, math, design, art and manufacturing and are learning great life skills like problem solving, team work and environmental awareness.”  

       Griffith believes that the Kranz Cougar Hydrogen Race Team is shaping up to be one of the most competitive middle school teams in the state this season, and the team and their proud teacher can’t wait for the races to begin.

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