What were you doing when you were 17? I, for one, was riding around shotgun in my boyfriend’s Pontiac Grand Am, with its blue underglow and sick subwoofer, listening to his favorite band and talking about … come to think of it, I have no idea what we talked about, ever.

But kids these days have better things to do. Just ask Andrew Awad, a 17-year-old high school junior from Houston who’s participating in this weekend’s Hyperloop Pod Competition in Texas. The event is hosted by SpaceX, the private space company of one Elon Musk — living Iron Man, chronic disruptor, and aspiring planet saver.

The competition is geared toward university students and independent engineers who think they’ve got the best designs for a passenger carrier on Musk’s proposed Hyperloop, a high-speed transporter that could theoretically shuttle people between L.A. and San Francisco in 35 minutes.