2015-05-22: People and Off-Track events at the Shell Eco-marathon

On day No.5 at the Shell Eco-marathon we took some time to look around on “the Ahoy” and tried to get an impression of the whole Event and realized that the Shell Eco-marathon is more than just a competition for university student teams.
The Shell Eco-marathon offers young primary students the possibility to discover different things starting from energy production to recycle processes and give a brief insight into the automotive industry, with its Off-Track events. All events cover a broad range of scientific topics and are aimed to increase the interest in technical issues and having fun in exploring something.

Starting with small experiments like building a hot-wire curcuit with clay, building a personal rubber band driven boat, play with optical illusions and laser pointer over to produce high voltage to create lightnings. Every single experiment show the students that science is not only just hard work, but having fun while exploring.

exp1 exp2


Another side event is the “Skills Juniors” Challenge. Over 400 primary school students from Rotterdam are invited to participate the challenge. Participating there means to handle with 5 different issues at 5 different stations. For each issue the students have 7 minutes time.
After finishing one issue the participants rotate to the next issue. Reaching from modeling a part with CAD Software and print it out
with a 3D printer in the next moment, to think about the technic used in our future homes. Further questions handle with harbor logistics,
urban farming or medical sciences. The best ones of each run are qualified for the semi-finals or even the final on Saturday. The judges evaluate the competences as well as the talent for a special issue and the joy the students have during the competition. Aim of the “Skills Junior” Challenge is to explore different job opportunities and to grow essential competences. The Challenge is held for the third time now and is planned to expand to other cities in the Netherlands and maybe once there is a national challenge. Other “Skills Junior” challenges are held in Germany and many more countries, too. The project is supported by the city government of Rotterdam and the Ministry of Education and Science.

For more information please visit: skills-netherlands.nl


At the Mini Shell Eco-marathon the students are given the chance to build their first electric vehicle. The challenge is to build a small vehicle from a construction kit and compete against other vehicles on a small track. The vehicle receives its energy from a metal plate. The electrons are released when a drop of saltwater is placed on the plate.

There, we met the boys and girls from the “CBS op dreef” from Bruinisse in the south of the Netherlands. The primary school students aged from 10 to 12 did a two hours journey to the Shell Eco-marathon and are overwhelmed by the organization of this big event. It was not the first time for the students to build something technical. Because in their lessons at CBS op dreef the students do a lot of handwork e.g. they have the great possibility to work with small electric devices, electric motors and even solar cells. Very impressive. Monthly, the students get a special course and they are allowed to experiment with elements. In this course experiments with electricity or heat are done by the students guided by their teachers. One of the teachers is Rianda Dorst. But not only building something is important for the teachers also economical education plays a big role. “We try to teach them to live a life with less energy consumption and less waste of recources”, she said. Even Shell is partly involved in the education of those students. Shell visits the school regularly and tell the students how electricity is produced and how the students can improve their economical footprint. A great cooperation. We wish you all the best for the future and keep on with your educational method!

For more information please visit the schools’ Homepage: www.cbsopdreef.nl




IACE1n one hall automotive engineering was the topic and beside the Formula 1 cars of the “Scuderia Ferrari” the students from the Automotive Center of Expertise (ACE) cooperation teach primary school students how an internal combustion engine or an anti-lock brake system actually works. They also introduce their model of autonomous driving at their booth. The ACE is a cooperation between three Dutch colleges and was founded to improve the learning process of the students. Students of the ACE program definitly know that they want to stay in the automotive industry. Like Masoem from the “Fontys Hogeschool Automotive”. He is just one year away from his graduation and he is already doing a long- term internship at Inalfa roof systems, which is a supplier for nearly all big car manufacturers. He is so much involved there that he has got his own project, recently.

Here the link to the ACE: www.acemobility.nl


We also visited the booth of the Shell-Eco marathon supporters HP and Linde. At the booth of HP the primary-school students disassembled computer parts and considered how difficult the recycling of electric devices is. Meanwhile, Linde showed that CO2 is not just a greenhouse gas but further it is used in industrial applications like dry ice. To make it more interesting they present all that information in a funny show in the “Energy Theater”.

HP Linde

All these impressions show, once again, that the Shell Eco-marathon is not just a competition. Furthermore it is a big exchange platform for state-of-the-art technology and great ideas.

We wish all guest of the Shell Eco-marathon a great, informative time and all participants of the competition good luck for the last two competition days!

Posted in Allgemein.