Azeem Hill and Simon Hauger at Poptech 2010
You may recognize Azeem Hill. If you do, it’s because this 16 year-old kid helped build the world’s only high school-made super hybrid sports car. As a participant in an after-school workshop in Philadelphia run by Simon Hauger, he and his teammates dreamed up and built a sporty hybrid that goes from 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, yet gets 70 mpg on the highway and 100 mpg in the city. They entered the car in the Automotive X-Prize, and beat out numerous top competitors — MIT and multimillion dollar tech firms among them. Hill and Hauger brought the car to this year’s Poptech. (Videos)
Here’s high school student Azeem Hill:
And yes, he and his classmates had to learn everything that goes into making a hybrid car — from the relevant physics to the design applications to the under-the-hood mechanics. How else could they build this by themselves?
Azeem’s instructor, Simon Hauger, created the after-school hands-on hybrid car program 13 years ago, and decided a couple years ago to aim for the X Prize. He spoke with me about the program and the cars they’ve designed: