Can you imagine driving a wind-powered vehicle, which is made of recyclable materials, for your daily commute from your home to the office?
It may sound unrealistic but a prototype device invented by students competing in the "Solve for Tomorrow" National Youth Scientific Innovation and Experiment Contest suggests that more clean-energy vehicles such as a wind-driven car will be realities in the near future.
The device, invented by a group of students guided by Professor Gao Yunfeng from Tsinghua University, carried a 50kg passenger 10 meters forward, powered only by two electric fans simulating natural winds at the launch of this year's "Solve for Tomorrow" contest on Wednesday.
Initiated by the China Association for Science and Technology and the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China, the contest will kick off its third consecutive year in June with high school and college students competing at national preliminaries in five divisions: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Harbin and Chengdu.
The competition is composed of two sections, a challenge segment and a creative contest. In the challenge segment, students will be required to fulfill three assignments – smart transportation, wind power utilization and security protection – by making full use of a limited number of tools and resources.
In the creative contest, students have to demonstrate their inventions through 20 minutes of presentation, operation and question and answer sessions with the judges' panel, which includes renowned scholars, officials and notary officers.
This year's contest will for the first time stop grouping students by their age, allowing high school and college contenders to compete head-to-head.
After regional preliminaries, qualified teams will bring their ideas and working prototypes to the national final, which will be held at the China Science and Technology Museum in late November, to compete for prize money and a trip to the United States, sponsored by Samsung Electronics Co, for exchange on scientific research and invention.
A series of online and on-site scientific promotion activities and educational events will also be held during the contest, as well as lectures by experts.