Fast Cars, Cleaner Energy

Eligibility Requirements

Rising ninth through 12th graders. To participate in the residential experience, students must be at least 15 years old.


Mies Campus


Session Seven: July 29–August 2

This session will take place from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.


Residential: $1,500; a $100 deposit is due at the time of registration

Commuter: $650; a $100 deposit is due at the time of registration


Program Description

Chemical engineers are on the forefront of renewable energy technology development. Among the most exciting is fuel cells and the hydrogen economy. Over the course of the program week, students will participate in a hydrogen-fuel-cell car competition. In addition to learning about alternative hydrogen generation technology and electrochemical fundamentals, the competition will require students to utilize an electronic microcontroller, as well as an iodine chemical clock. Students will also be exposed to the wide variety of career opportunities available to chemical engineering graduates. The chemical car competition is a team-based activity and will also be used to illustrate the leadership and communication skills required of a modern engineering professional. 

Example Activities

  • Lectures: Introduction to Engineering. Technical tutorials on fuel cell technology, Arduino controllers, and the iodine clock. Overview of career opportunities for chemical engineering graduates.
  • Research lab tours on electrochemical technology, pharmaceutical technology, and biological energy/fuel production.
  • Team-based activities: Assembly of the chemical car. Calibration of car characteristics prior to competition. Creation of a two-minute video describing the car and the competition.


Illinois Tech Professor Donald Chmielewski


Questions about the application process? Email them to