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Hydrogen for the future

It is widely acknowledged that hydrogen has a major role to play in future technology and energy generation. The Greater Manchester Hydrogen Partnership (GMHP) led by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and supported by Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Hub held a secondary school continuing professional development (CPD) event for teachers to encourage their pupils to get creative with green technology.

The GM Hydrogen & Fuel Cell CPD programme is designed to help teachers inspire the next generation of renewable energy engineers to get involved in developing cleaner, greener transport and help contribute to the targets of the GM Energy plan.

The success of the day led to an event organised by MMU’s STEM Education North West, one of the largest STEM learning centre’s in the north west and the educational arm of the partnership. During the day, teachers found out more about the role hydrogen can play in a low carbon society and compared renewable energies and carbon fuels. MMU’s Dr Al-Hussein Al Barbar from the School of Engineering was also on hand to explain the basics of fuel cell systems.

The next step for the teachers who took part is the 2014 GM Schools Hydrogen Challenge. Each school was given a fuel cell car kit supplied by Horizon fuel cell technologies, whose UK partner is Arcola Energy and with whom MMU is in discussion with to collaborate on a research project into fuel cells. Schools will now pit their designs against each other for a chance to enter the final later in the year held at MOSI, at the same time learning all about renewable energies, mechanics and the environment.

Amer Gaffar, leading on the GM Hydrogen Partnership at MMU, said: “Greater Manchester’s school-children are the innovators, entrepreneurs and engineers of the future, so it is crucial we engage and educate them in the latest scientific technologies. We recognise that, in order to do so, we need to work with their teachers and give them an insight into how hydrogen and fuel cells are to become part of the future. Our aim is for all schools within the region to benefit and we will be moving forward with developing CPD’s and challenges across all key stages.”