Student Team Challenges on specific topics are growing in popularity as efficient ways to stimulate students’ independent work, technical and management learning as well as socialization and internationalization. Many competitions are focused on ground vehicles (SAE Formula, Motostudent, Shell Eco Marathon, Solar Challenge), with different focuses on performance, fuel consumption or other depending on the aim of the event. An interesting approach is proposed in the United States by the ASME HPV Challenge, which is focused on Human Powered Vehicles. This class of vehicles allows not only to set-up a classical competition in terms of design, innovation, presentation, manufacturing and racing, but also to grow the student awareness about speed-energy relation. An HPV gives to the rider a direct feedback on a “human-scale” about energy quantities involved in personal mobility. The main returns by the use of this specific topic for a student challenge are: better understanding of the sustainable mobility problem, awareness about the potential and the limits of human muscular power, development of technical skills about design and engineering of lightweight and efficient vehicles, stimulation of the HPVs market development (the students are both potential future designers/manufacturers and/or customers), promotion of healthy and engaging physical activities. In this context, while Europe is rich of HPVs amateurs and manufacturers and is the usual location of the WHPVA World Championship, there is a lack of an educational framework involving students and teachers. Starting from the end of ZEV-HPV Erasmus Intensive Program 2011–2013, the proposal of creating a specific HPV challenge for the European students was developed by the authors. In particular, it was evaluated that by integrating the Student Challenge in the WHPVA World Championship as a special “Educational” category, many reciprocal advantages could be obtained: logistic and organizational support from the WHPVA and its national representatives, in particular for racing and timing, reciprocal technical and cultural exchange between students, academics and the hundred of amateur rider/designer/builder that were attending the event in the last decade, growth and renewal of the European HPVs community by aggregating young people around the subject and by stimulating the research of innovative solutions. After an in-depth analysis of the arguments reported above, an overview of the rules for the 1st edition of EU HPV Student Challenge will be presented and compared to analogous international competitions from an educational perspective.

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