Students from Boyle Heights S.T.E.M. Magnet High School Beat Hundreds of Teams to Compete in Largest Hydrogen Competition in the World in Las Vegas
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Boyle Heights S.T.E.M. Magnet High School's team, Los STEMateros, competed at the 2023 Horizon Hydrogen Grand Prix (H2GP) World Finals, placing 13 out of 26 high school teams from across the globe. The team is a first-time participant at the H2GP and advanced to the World Finals after qualifying at prior regional and state finals by racing a hydrogen-powered, remote-control fuel cell car that they designed and built themselves. Los STEMateros are one of 10 Title 1 LAUSD high school teams sponsored by SoCalGas' Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) program. Last week, SoCalGas donated an additional $3,000 to help the school pay for the student's trip to the World Finals in Las Vegas September 11-14.
"SoCalGas is proud to support initiatives that empower the next generation of engineers and scientists. Los STEMateros and students like them are critical to California's clean energy future," said Neil Navin, Chief Clean Fuels Officer of SoCalGas. "The transition to clean energy is an environmental and social imperative, and SoCalGas is accelerating the transition by advancing the use of clean fuels, such as hydrogen, in support of California's climate goals."
The event brought together over 200 students from 13 countries to compete in a six-hour endurance race, with the winning teams having the greatest number of laps completed. Oakwood School (North Hollywood) won first place for the 2nd year in a row, with teams from Slovakia and the Netherlands in 2nd and 3rd places. One other LAUSD team, STEAM Legacy Senior High Sci Tech Engineering Arts Math (South Gate) placed 7th overall.
"Clean energy in California is projected to grow by 400% by 2045, creating more S.T.E.M. opportunities for the future workforce. Our students are learning the skills that are essential to California's energy transition," said Matthew Mihm, Principal at Boyle Heights S.T.E.M. Magnet High School. "The H2GP provides students with an outlet to use their education meaningfully and provide them with a greater access to understanding the renewable energy that will define the future."
"Growing up in Boyle Heights, we did not have S.T.E.M. classes like this, which is why I want to ensure our students have opportunities like this, so they are prepared for a multitude of future careers. Participating in H2GP provides the students with a hands-on experience that actually takes the curriculum we are learning in the classroom and applies it to something they get to compete with. It's a phenomenal learning experience," said Israel Hernandez, Coach of Los STEMateros. He teaches math, computer-aided design and machining at Boyle Heights S.T.E.M. Magnet High School.
H2GP, an educational program developed by Horizon Educational, provides students with the curriculum and materials to build a remote-controlled fuel cell electric vehicle at nearly 500 schools. These remote-controlled cars then compete in Horizon's H2GP at local and state levels. The program is designed to equip students with the knowledge that will be needed in the future to transition energy infrastructure to renewable energy.
"This was an incredible experience for our team and gave us a hands-on experience for topics that we are all very interested in learning. I am really proud of my teammates and the ways we have grown together to learn about fuel cell technology and hydrogen energy," said Jorge Sorto, a junior at Boyle Heights S.T.E.M. Magnet High School and team captain of Los STEMateros.
SoCalGas' ASPIRE 2045 sustainability and climate commitment to net zero emissions also highlights goals in safety, DE&I in the workplace, and a plan to invest $50 million in underserved communities.
In addition to funding Los STEMateros, SoCalGas sponsored another 9 teams at 5 LAUSD Title 1 schools. SoCalGas's Scholarship Program provides resources for higher education and career development. This program is designed to support students with interest in the energy industry. Since the program began over 22 years ago, SoCalGas has provided 2,236 students with scholarships totaling $3,599,500.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to over 21 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy infrastructure company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.
For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on X (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company