west_philly_hybrid-x-team.jpgStudents from a team at West Philadelphia High School are the only teenagers in a field of about 90 teams from around the world hoping to win the $10 million Automotive X Prize for their innovative hybrid car designs. The prestigious international competition requires entrants to build cars that get at least 100 miles per gallon, can be mass-produced, and are safe and reliable. The urban teens are hot off the heels of other impressive wins for their Hybrid X team.

The field of contestants, many based in Universities, will be reduced by about half on Oct. 19 — a cut the Philly team is confident of surviving. The final winner will be decided in 2010.
(Continue reading at Reuters)

The West Philly team provides a powerful example of how urban young people can impact climate change and create important roles for themselves in the new green economy, especially because the West Philadelphia High School serves one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city.

The High School’s Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering combines students and teachers with support from business and higher education partners organized by Philadelphia Academies, Inc., to achieve unprecedented success.

The West Philly team has built and raced electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles for the last eleven years. As entrants in the Tour de Sol, they outperformed university teams and production vehicles, winning the competition in 2002, 2005 and 2006. In 2007, they won the 21st Century Automotive Challenge. The team’s participation in the Tour de Sol, in particular, has equipped it to undertake the much larger challenge of the X PRIZE.

Watch the video below about the team, produced by America.gov…

Learn and be Inspired: FuelOurFutureNow.com features activities for grade levels K-12, as well as high-quality videos, virtual labs, and other interactive resources intended for use from the classroom to the living room.


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