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Competitions: Student STEM Contests and Events

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

At the National Science Bowl, high school and middle school students participate in a nation-wide competition to test their knowledge of STEM fields and encourage students to explore careers in STEM.  High school and middle school students are quizzed in a fast paced question-and-answer format similar to Jeopardy. For 2013, the national science bowl will be held April 25-29 in Washington DC. 

The Collegiate Wind Competition sends undergraduate students through a multi-part challenge that will expose them to a variety of opportunities in clean energy. Beginning in 2013, student teams from 10 universities across the country will design and construct a lightweight, transportable wind turbine that can be used to power small electronic devices. The competition culminates with a trip in the spring of 2014, when the teams will compete head-to-head. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition is designed to build regional networks of student-focused business creation contests across the country. Launched in 2011, the NCEBPC is part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative, the White House campaign to inspire and promote entrepreneurship. Six regional organizations were funded under the competition to hold clean energy business plan competitions. In addition to the regional competitions, each June at the National Competition Event, the six finalists from the regional business plan competitions pitch their business plans to a panel of expert judges– competing for the National Grand Prize.

The Better Buildings Case Competition challenges the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and policymakers to devise actionable ways to cut energy waste and improve commercial building efficiency. Using real-world scenarios and data, university and graduate teams develop creative solutions for common energy efficiency problems that private-sector organizations and state and local governments could replicate.