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Home > Education > K-12 > EnergyWhiz > Energy Transfer Machine

Energy Transfer Machine is getting a make-over and will return in 2018.

The E.T. Machine (formerly Hydrogen Challenge) provides a hands-on opportunity for elementary, 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.


The E.T. Machine is open to all Florida students in grades 4 - 12.  Teams are made up of two to six students with at least one teacher/mentor, and divided into three divisions—elementary, middle school, and high school. 

Competition rules for the E.T. Machine