PITTSBURG, KS – When you hear about summer vacation, changing the face of green technology probably doesn’t come to your mind.
That is, unless you’re talking about the latest project at Pitt State.
Specifically, the work of eight high school students.
They are working with the university to create cells and supercapacitors, and make them more efficient than current models, at only a fraction of the cost.
“We still have a bit of time to resolve some of these issues so we need to move forward and work on creating cleaner technology.” Says Cassia Allison, a high school student from Pittsburg.
The problem, the pollution, and eight high school kids from across Kansas are trying to help fight it.
They spent their summer at the Kansas Polymer Research Center at Pittsburg State University.
“We make green batteries and zero carbon fuel cells. »Said Anjali Gupta, a high school student from Pittsburg.
These fuel cells can be used in green technologies like electric cars, so students want to make them more accessible.
“Electric cars are starting to become a bigger thing these days and we want to help take it even further… So they may not just be something you can have if you only have a lot of money. Said Maddie Ellis, a high school student from Pittsburg.
It’s about changing the material used to create the fuel cell.
“The most efficient material that they have is really expensive, so we are trying to find a cheaper alternative that is just as efficient and we also want to change the design of some current fuel cells so that they fit more. water and are easier to use. . “Said Gupta.
By adding more water, hydrogen can be produced for longer periods.
This would make electric cars using these fuel cells more efficient than current models.
“They can only go 200 miles when charged, but that’s not enough if you want to go from here to California or elsewhere.” Said Ram Gupta, PSU Assoc. Teacher. Polymer chemistry.
By the time they return to school, not only will these students be helping to change technology, but one of the biggest organizations.
“It’s kind of an honor to be part of the NASA space grant because it’s not an opportunity that everyone has, working with a middle school in high school is a really cool experience… It’s a kind of like a big step forward for my career, ”says Allison.
So far, the students are halfway through the project.
They have completed their fourth week.
These three people we spoke to knew each other before the project, and once they heard about it, they knew they had to be a part of it.