Three high schools from Bossier along with two other high school teams from north Louisiana will compete in the Shell Eco-marathon in Houston, Texas on March 30-April 1.  The Shell Eco-marathon competition challenges high school and college student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy efficient vehicles.

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“The Shell Eco-marathon vehicle is an educational platform that encourages innovation, reinforces conservation, and fosters the development of leading technology for greater energy efficiency” says Marvin Nelson, teacher and team lead of Benton High School.

The project requires integration of vehicle design, finance, and construction into the curriculum, as well as demonstrating the value of multi-disciplinary teams working together with industry towards a common goal.  Teams in the Eco-marathon compete in two classes – Prototype and Urban Concept – with two broad categories of power systems – Internal Combustion and Electric Mobility. Louisiana Tech University has been participating in this challenge for four years, and last year set the North American record in their Urban Concept car at 647 miles per gallon.
Inspired by Louisiana Tech, Benton High School participated the last two years and developed a Prototype vehicle that achieved over 500 miles per gallon.

Heath Tims, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and team lead for Louisiana Tech said, “It is outstanding that students from high schools in our region have been given the opportunity to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon.  Our Eco-marathon team was excited to provide a weekend workshop for the high school teams.”

The Cyber Innovation Center has sponsored five high schools to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon this year.  Benton High School will again compete, in addition to Parkway High School and a joint team from Airline and Haughton high schools. To support these high school teams, Louisiana Tech and the CIC hosted a weekend workshop for the schools to give the high school teams the opportunity to interact and learn from the university teams that have been so successful.

D.C. Machen, Superintendent of Bossier Schools said, “I am very appreciative that our students have an opportunity to showcase their skills in this international competition.  This program is just one example of how our partnership with Louisiana Tech and the Cyber Innovation Center is providing next generation learning opportunities and we look forward continued collaboration in the development of enhanced learning opportunities for our students and teachers.”

Partnerships in educational experiences are the key to success for the future of education.  The Cyber Innovation Center is a proud supporter of education that engages students and teachers in challenging experiences that reveal the true potential of our region.