Teenagers at HyperLift One of 30 Teams Competing in SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

These teenagers are revolutionizing travel. What was your high school science project?

byLiane Yvkoff| UPDATED Jan 27, 2017 6:29 PM
Teenagers at HyperLift One of 30 Teams Competing in SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

Building a Hyperloop apparently is child's play—high school team HyperLift is one of 30 international teams competing in the second round of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.

Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation system that uses pods in a low-pressure tube to transport people or cargo across long distances at near supersonic speed. At 700 mph, Hyperloop travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles would be reduced to 30 minutes. At least, that's SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's theory.

The founder of the aerospace company shared a white paper on how Hyperloop could be built in 2013. Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any private company, such as Hyperloop One, attempting to commercialize this technology, but it's holding the competition geared towards educational institutions to accelerate the development of this transportation model, and encourage student innovation.

And the competition isn't limited to colleges or universities. HyperLift's team consists of six juniors and seniors from St. John's School, a private high school in Houston, Texas. Their approach is to design a modular system using mostly off-the-shelf products, team lead Andrew Awad told The Drive. They're one of more than 120 groups that submitted detailed design plans last year for the first phase of the competition, and were among the 30 teams selected to advance to Competition Weekend 1 taking place on January 29.

During this phase, pods must pass eight inspections and tests to ensure structural integrity and safety while launching down a 1.25 km hyperloop test track that runs along SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. Selected pods will be invited to attend Competition Weekend II this summer to test the pod loading, launch, and unload sequence. Other teams competing in this phase of the competition include:

  • BADGERLOOP | University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BAYOU BENGALS | Louisiana State University
  • Bloop | University of California, Berkeley
  • CARNEGIE MELLON HYPERLOOP | Carnegie Mellon University
  • DELFT HYPERLOOP | Delft University of Technology
  • GATORLOOP | University of Florida
  • HYPERLOOP AT USC | University of Southern California
  • HYPERLOOP UC | University of Cincinnati
  • HYPERLIFT | St. Johns High School
  • TEAM HYPERLYNX | University of Colorado Denver
  • HYPERXITE | University of California, Irvine
  • ILLINI HYPERLOOP | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • KEIO ALPHA | Keio University
  • LEHIGH HYPERLOOP | Lehigh University
  • MIT HYPERLOOP | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • NYU HYPERLOOP | New York University
  • OPENLOOP | Northeastern, Memorial University, Princeton, Cornell, Harvey Mudd College, and the University of Michigan
  • rLOOP: globally distributed, open source, crowdsourced, multi-disciplinary team
  • TAMU HYPERLOOP | Texas A&M University
  • TEAM CODEX | Oral Roberts University
  • UMDLOOP | University of Maryland
  • UWASHINGTON HYPERLOOP | University of Washington
  • VICHYPER | RMIT Australia
  • WARR HYPERLOOP | Technical University of Munich
  • WATERLOOP | University of Waterloo