Fuel economy is hardly the most popular subject among teenagers, but it’s a passion for 17-year-old Jonny Cohen, who’s found a way to save schools money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing school bus fuel efficiency.
The idea popped into his head on a walk home from school when he was 12. The then-seventh-grader was taking summer classes on aerodynamics at Northwestern University, and it dawned on him there must be a way to streamline the bulky, boxy shape of school buses.
“I like to see things that are efficient. Things that are inefficient use more energy and are polluting,” said Jonny, who lives in Highland Park, Illinois. “I also understood that reducing carbon emissions from a school bus could reduce global warming.”
With the help of friends and his sister Azza Cohen, a more formal effort took shape in 2008. They called it the Greenshields Project.