Making the future
THE Shell Eco-marathon has been running in Europe for more than three decades and in the United States since 2007.
It debuted in Asia in 2010 and Malaysia was the first country in this region to host the competition, which provides an arena for students to test vehicles they design and build themselves.
It aims to inspire young people to become scientists and engineers of the future.
In every region, similar rules apply in which all vehicles must pass a set of technical tests before they are allowed onto the competition circuit to see how far they can get on the least amount of fuel, and potentially achieve the highest mileage in the competition.
The eighth edition this year, which saw student teams from the Asia Pacific and the Middle East showcase their self-built vehicles, was held in conjunction with Shell’s Make the Future (MTF) Singapore festival of ideas and innovation.
Visitors were able to, through virtual reality and hands-on experiential zones, explore what is happening now and see what the future of energy might look like, from renewable energy to natural gas and low-carbon technologies.
This was the Asian instalment of a global festival of ideas, focused on energy, which saw 22,000 visitors, including schoolchildren, who were brought by their teachers.
There were three interactive zones, namely Our Energy Future, On the Move and Live, Work, Play.
Under a Bright Ideas Challenge, secondary school students competed to design energyefficient solutions for future cities.
The challenge was won by a team from Greenview Secondary School whose idea was a city where food waste was converted into energy in the absence of oxygen through micro-organisms.
Also featured was an immersive experi- ence where a local playback theatre troupe challenged delegates to think both critically and creatively of solutions to make a cleaner energy future for Asia.
The theatrical performance was inspired by the pilot Imagine the Future Scenarios Competition, in which the winning student team from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University presented two contrasting scenarios of how people in Asia would live, work and play in 2050.
This year’s MTF took on an additional element of excitement with the inaugural Drivers’ World Championship (DWC) Asia, an exciting race format in which four out of 12 shortlisted teams from the UrbanConcept category raced head-to-head to see who would be the fastest while running on limited fuel.
Teams were given a fixed amount of energy, based on their mileage challenge performance, to complete the distance of the final race.
The De La Salle University team from the Philippines, which won the race, will be joined by two runners-up teams from Indonesia to represent Asia in the face-off against the best three teams from both the Americas and Europe.
The Grand Final champion will gain a oncein-a-lifetime experience at the home of Scuderia Ferrari in Italy.
Making science a fun family affair.