nation's first solar thermal plant in two decades was approved for Kern County. We also saw several incredible new approaches to generating alternative energy as researchers took crucial steps towards tapping the skies for lightning power and scientists unveiled a fuel cell battery that can be powered by soda. And if you can barely contain yourself at the prospect of pop-powered batteries, relax -- a team of scientists is also working on using urine to create low-cost fuel cells.
This week we also watched green transportation take a plunge beneath the sea as French engineers unveiled an awesome pedal-powered submarine. Our neighbors to the north also broke news as students at the University of British Columbia embarked upon a record-setting trip across Canada in an electrified VW Beetle and three Canadian schools announced plans to create a car out of cannabis - hopefully it doesn't go up in smoke. Finally, we took a (sobering) look at the havoc that poor public transportation planning can wreak: a massive traffic jam in China that extended for more than 60 miles and 9 days.
Speaking of students, here are a few projects to get you energized for the coming school year: a German tank armory was recently transformed into an ultra-modern solar-powered school, and we showcased some of the world's most incredible student-built structures. In other news, we brought you two dispatches from the realm of wearable tech - a new energy-harvesting film that could wire your wardrobe and a line of clothing that lets you send and receive phone calls. Can you hear me now?