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Published on Jul 15, 2012
See the full broadcast at http://video.pbs.org/video/2257223281 Can a group of inner-city high school students from one of Philadelphia's toughest neighborhoods beat the odds and build the next great super-hybrid car?
Students and teachers from West Philadelphia High School, a public high school serving one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Philadelphia, defy expectations as they design and build two super-hybrid cars for international competition and compete for the chance to be part of a technological revolution. In summer 2010, the high school's EVX Team raced against mega-sized auto manufacturers, multimillion-dollar start-ups, and university teams from around the world in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE competition. The challenge: Build an affordable, 100 miles-per-gallon car. The prize: $10 million dollars. In Fast Times at West Philly High, FRONTLINE explores the viability of these cars, the potential that exists within our young people, and the prospects of effective innovation in public education.