When you’ve got a spare moment for some mechanical learning, or know a student who does, take a look at the nifty new FuelOurFutureNow.com. The interactive knowledge center is designed to help K-12 students learn about vehicle technology, energy efficiency, climate change, alternative fuels, and the science, technology, engineering, and math that underlie fuel-efficient vehicle development.

Discovery Education (Discovery Channel’s sister division) and the X PRIZE foundation launched the site last week with the help of a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s part of a larger push to encourage young people to consider careers in energy-efficiency-related sciences and technology. The Flash-y, still-expanding website features virtual laboratories, high-quality video, games and interactive elements, and resources for teachers and parents.

“Our hope is that this online knowledge center and other components of the education program will encourage students to become change agents — helping to persuade their peers, parents, and the public to become more aware of fuel-efficiency, both in the short term and in the future,” Mark German, director of education programs for the X PRIZE Foundation, said in a press release.

The X PRIZE Foundation’s portfolio of high-profile innovation competitions (see Private Space Travel) includes a $10 million contest to design a competitively-priced 100 mpg car, and it recently announced the winners of a “big green idea” contest it sponsored with YouTube.

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Once FuelOurFutureNow.com is finished, it will allow students and viewers to track teams as they perform in the automotive competition, learning about science and tech issues along the way. Science teachers, take note.

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