Students Strive To Beat Last Year's 2,188 Miles Per Gallon Achievement At
Shell Eco-Marathon Americas 2013
TEAMS FINISHING THEIR SUPER-MILEAGE VEHICLES TO CREATE FEASIBLE APPROACHES TO
ENERGY CHALLENGES FOR UPCOMING COMPETITION
HOUSTON, March 7, 2013
HOUSTON, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1,000 innovative high school
and university students from across the Americas are racing to finish their
vehicles in time for the seventh annual Shell Eco-marathon Americas
competition in Houston on April 4-7. There, they will all aim to surpass last
year's achievement of 2,188 miles per gallon. That impressive mileage was
attained by a team at Mater Dei High School of Evansville, Ind., that is once
again "in it to win it" with four vehicles registered. The team from Quebec's
Universite Laval that achieved the highest mileage for three consecutive years
prior is working fast and furiously on its vehicles and looking for
Competitors come from a myriad of backgrounds and experience levels, with
novice teams competing against teams who have been participating since it
began in the Americas in 2007. Despite these differences, the teams share a
common vision: to come together to create feasible approaches to address
future energy challenges.
"Shell Eco-marathon is a visible demonstration of how we can all face,
head-on, the growing demand for energy worldwide in a responsible way," says
Mark Singer, Shell Eco-marathon Global Project Manager. "Shell Eco-marathon
inspires all of us to think about energy efficiency, and it offers a way to
work on tomorrow's energy solutions in a practical way today."
Teams from Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States will put their
super-mileage vehicles to the test this year. Around the world, Shell
Eco-marathons attract future leaders in science and engineering who are
passionate about finding solutions to global energy challenges. The event
tasks students to build, design and compete with their high-mileage vehicles
in competitions held annually in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
"Fueling" Friendly Competition and Continued Team Growth
Shell Eco-marathon Americas really isn't about finishing first or breaking
records, but the event does generate some friendly competition and rivalries
between teams that have participated in the competition for the past several
years. The event also has generated hometown rivalry between many local and
nearby high schools and colleges who are eager to best one another, including
California-based schools University of California, Los Angeles, Monrovia High
School and California Polytechnic Institute.
The Americas event continues to grow with more than 20 new schools registered
this year. Teams from Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Minn., and
Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Penn., are looking to make their mark this
year. Swarthmore's two person team is the smallest in the competition. The duo
hopes to challenge themselves this year while gaining experience by
participating in the well-known competition.
This year is also the first time that Alabama is represented as the University
of Alabama at Birmingham has a team entrant. After rallying for permission to
participate, team "UAB" is constructing its vehicle. Team members have set
high standards for their first appearance at the event, with a goal of
achieving 1,000 mpg.
And in Mexico, students at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) are
hard at work finishing their two contending vehicles. Unlike many other teams
who can make modifications up to the event, UNAM set an ambitious deadline to
have their vehicles completed six weeks before the competition to allow for
enough time to transport them to Houston. But to the team, it's a small price
to pay, and they are looking forward to surpassing their goals at their second
Students at the Universidade Federal de Santa Caterina in Brazil are also
under a tight deadline to make their vehicle even lighter and more efficient
this year. Last year, the team achieved its goal of placing in the top 10 in
the popular Prototype Gasoline category and looks forward to returning to the
competition this year with a new goal of placing in the top three in the same
Rallying the Community for Support
For other students, it's less about achieving the greatest mpg and more about
simply getting on the track. Funding and community involvement is very
important and supporters can make all the difference.
Last year, James B. Dudley High School in Greensboro, N.C., rallied for
sponsorship and with the help of the local community, sent eight members to
Houston. This year, the team, called "Let's Do it Again," is hoping to raise
enough funds to send the entire team. While the students are looking forward
to competing, for them it's also about getting more experience and learning
from other schools. Ricky Lewis, the team's advisor, said of last year's
event, "We danced on the same floor as Purdue University and Penn State
University. And we weren't the best dancers, but we made the dance."
Additionally, Ricky Lewis says his team's involvement in Shell Eco-marathon
Americas has enabled him to integrate science, technology engineering and math
(STEM) principles which have stimulated creativity and innovation in the
The University of Alaska, Fairbanks has also seen firsthand the challenges of
funding and is working hard to overcome them. The team has a long way to
travel to bring its six vehicles, appropriately named after Santa's reindeers,
to the competition.
Helping Students Prepare for the "Real World"
Shell Eco-marathon Americas helps students prepare for life in the "real
world," with many going on to pursue careers in the energy and technology
industries. Students at Brockport High School in Brockport, N.Y., are
contacting car companies to understand the most efficient motor type. A former
Penn State student used his experience and now works for NASCAR.
Participating in Shell Eco-marathon Americas also can help students determine
what they want to study before getting full-time work. Shante Stowell, a
former member of the "ShopGirls," an all-girls team from Granite Falls High
School outside of Seattle, Wash., leveraged her participation in Shell
Eco-marathon Americas while applying to the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology where she's now a student. Colin Hosli, a former member of the
Louisiana Tech team, credits his experience in Shell Eco-marathon Americas as
the kickoff to his career as a well interventions engineer at Shell. While
working with the team to safely develop a highly fuel efficient, soundly
engineered vehicle, Colin found his calling and knew he wanted to work in a
place where the environment, safety and collaboration are of utmost
Thinking about the Energy Future
The world's population is growing all the time and, with it, the global demand
for energy. As a result, we need new, sustainable ways to meet the rising
demand. So, for Shell Eco-marathon 2013, students are encouraged to be part of
the conversation by participating in a new prize category, The Global Energy
Challenge: A Look to the Future.
The new prize category asks student teams to consider the wider energy context
that surrounds their fantastic achievements in the mileage challenge. To
participate, each school must submit at least one infographic that answers one
of three energy-related questions provided by Shell. Submissions for the
Americas teams are due by March 25 and the winners will be announced during
the awards ceremony at Shell Eco-marathon Americas.
In addition to the student competition, Shell will host Powering Progress
Together in Houston. It's a one-day event that strives to demonstrate the need
for and value of systemic thinking and collaboration among corporations, NGOs
and academics about the complex relationship between the production and use of
food, energy and water – also called the Stress Nexus.
For more information on all 2013 events across the globe, including the
complete Americas 2013 roster, schedule and official rules, please visit the
Shell Eco-marathon website at www.shell.com/ecomarathon. For more information
on the history of the event, visit
About Shell Oil Company
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group
of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90
countries. We deliver a diverse range of energy solutions and petrochemicals
to customers worldwide. These include transporting and trading oil and gas,
marketing natural gas, producing and selling fuel for ships and planes,
generating electricity and providing energy efficiency advice.
We also produce and sell petrochemical building blocks to industrial customers
globally, and we are investing in making renewable and lower-carbon energy
sources competitive for large-scale use. In the U.S., we operate in 50 and
employ more than 20,000 people delivering energy in a responsible manner.
About Shell Eco-marathon
Shell Eco-marathon is a global program that challenges high school and college
student teams to design, build and test the most energy-efficient vehicles.
With annual events in the Americas, Europe and Asia, this innovation
competition pushes future scientists and engineers to travel the farthest
distance using the least amount of energy. Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013
will take place April 4 – April 7, 2013 on the streets of downtown Houston,
the energy capital of the world. Visit www.shell.com/ecomarathon/americas to
learn more about this program.
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