Bucknell chemical and mechanical engineering students are heading to Nashville this year to race their pint-sized chemical-powered car against the nation's best.

It's no ordinary car. The student-designed vehicle is powered by a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. And here's the challenge:

"The teams of five or more students are told 30 minutes before the competition the distance that their vehicle must travel and the cargo weight it will carry," says Tim Raymond, assistant professor of chemical engineering. The goal is to get the vehicle as close as possible to the designated finish line. The closest one wins.

That means students need to make a host of precision scientific calculations – the ultimate test of applying textbook and classroom skills.

In April, Team Bucknell took first place in the mid-Atlantic division, and is now headed to the national competition.

 

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