A team of students from Livingston High School recently won an award at the Shell Eco-marathon, a competition for high school and college student teams from around the world. The students design and build energy-efficient vehicles; winning teams are those that can travel the farthest distance using the least amount of energy.

The Livingston High Eco-Lancers team has taken part in the challenge since 2012-2013, and is the only high school in the state to participate. The team is advised by James Novotny, the district’s technology supervisor. (Stevens Institute of Technology is the only other New Jersey educational institution that sent a team to the competition.)

This is the third year Livingston High school has sent a group to the competition. After beginning in 2012-2013 with two vehicles, one powered by diesel and the other by gasoline, the team focused only on a gasoline-powered vehicle for 2013-2014. With design modifications that included changes to the frame surrounding the engine, the team was able to push the efficiency of its vehicle to more than 370 miles per gallon at the 2014 competition in Houston, Texas.

This year the team, which uses computer-assisted design software, further refined its design, adding more sensitive sensors to the fuel injection mechanism, replacing the two-speed rear axle with a lightweight efficient rear axle/tire/rim, replacing the rest of the frame with lightweight chromemoly steel, replacing the canopy, and improving drive communications and performance data. In April 2015, the team competed in Detroit, achieving a fuel efficiency of 588 miles per hour.

While the 2014-2015 team didn’t win the award for the highest miles per gallon (a University of Toronto team achieved the equivalent of 3,421 miles per gallon), the Livingston students won the Communications Award for what judges called “an impressive array of communications efforts and activities” to promote the project.

Several local sponsors have generously supported the team over the years.

Information

Contact: James Novotny, technology education department head, grades 6-12, jnovotny@livingston.org

Online: www.ecolancers.org

Received the Communications Award at the Shell Eco-marathon

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