Teaching students about nanotechnology and alternative transportation

I wish I could find a story like this every day. Students in an Illinois school are building model cars with alternative fuel technologies, including nanotechnology. This News-Gazette story didn't go into much detail about the cars but the program from which the project is funded seems to develop plenty of student and faculty interest.

Nanotechnology certainly holds promise for solving many of today's energy problems, and starting out with a basic fuel-cell-powered model is an great tool for learning the basics of this subject. I seem to find more stories about the critical shortage of technicians available to fix today's high-tech hybrid vehicles. Tuning a car is no longer as easy as setting the dwell and playing with the jets. Servicing and repairing modern vehicles requires extensive training and computer skills. Today's dealerships have expressed concern that their service departments will be understaffed as experienced technicians brought up through the high-tech era retire. Of course, future cars may be able to diagnose themselves, and repairs will be made by replacing recyclable modular components.

[Source: Anne Cook / The News Gazette]

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