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Energy Transfer Machine - E.T. Machine

The 2016 Hydrogen Challenge will be held at the Florida Solar Energy Center, May 14, 2016.

The Hydrogen Challenge provides a hands-on opportunity for middle and high school students to utilize their STEM skills in a fun and creative way.  Students are challenged to transform everyday materials into a wacky, innovative machine that accomplishes a team-specified task at the two minute mark using a variety of energy transfers including power from a hydrogen fuel cell.

  • Students work in teams of 2 - 6 students per team.

  • Machines are designed and constructed as a Rube-Goldberg type of apparatus utilizing various energy-transfer steps to complete a team-specified task at the two minute mark.

  • One of the steps in the device is powered by a fuel cell with hydrogen that is produced by electrolysis.

  • These ‘timing’ devices are judged on accuracy, innovation, complexity and technical sophistication; teams are also judged on their use of fuel cell technology.

    Photo of middle school kids with their energy innovation.
    To view photos of the 2015 Hydrogen Challenge, visit our online photo gallery.


Register, and Start...Your...Machines!

The E.T. Machine is open to all Florida students in grades 6 - 12.  Teams are made up of two to six students with at least one teacher/mentor, and divided into two divisions—middle school and high school.  To pre-register, fill out the online registration form.

Receive this year’s competition fuel cell free!

To receive this year’s competition fuel cell absolutely free (a $75 value) and jump start your team on its way to the Hydrogen Challenge, submit a 60 second PSA (that’s a Public Service Announcement) on the subject of hydrogen to the Florida Solar Energy Center by midnight November 26, 2014.  The top 10 teams will receive their competition fuel cell, and electrolyser free.  For more information, contact Penny Hall

Competition rules for the Hydrogen Challenge


To view photos of the 2015 Hydrogen Challenge, visit our online photo gallery.

To see past winners, visit the Winners' Circle listed below.