Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Winning Infographics Depict Future of Geothermal Energy

August 10, 2016

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These infographics, created by teams of high school and university students from across the country for the Geothermal Design Challenge, highlight the importance of geothermal energy for achieving a cleaner, greener energy future.

These infographics, created by teams of high school and university students from across the country for the Geothermal Design Challenge, highlight the importance of geothermal energy for achieving a cleaner, greener energy future.

Playwright Wilson Mizner once wrote, “Art is science made clear.” That statement is captured in a suite of student-designed infographics as part of this year’s Geothermal Design Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Idaho National Laboratory. This year’s competition tasked teams of talented high school and university students to research, design, and promote their infographics that answer the questions: “What is the future of geothermal and how will it impact you?

Illustrating a type of energy extracted from beneath the Earth’s surface can be difficult, but more than 100 teams from across the United States stepped up to the challenge and submitted infographics for this year’s competition.

Curious and environmentally-focused students from across the country participated for a multitude of reasons. For example, Hunter Whaples of Team Roosevelt “was always interested in energy science,” and his classmates had complementary interests that could contribute to a creative geothermal infographic.  His fellow group members included “an artist that deeply likes engineering, and the other is a friend who is great at research.” Teams like this from around the country were formed, each presenting their unique twist on the future of geothermal energy.

Following initial submissions in Round 1, graphic design and geothermal energy mentors were assigned to each team, guiding them through the refinement of their designs.  In round two of the challenge, the top 11 teams were chosen from a committee of engineers, energy experts, and creative professionals. After the fact-checking and editing was completed, the top 11 teams engaged in a social media campaign to determine the challenge winners. Everything from Facebook to YouTube was utilized to try to capture the public’s attention. After the two-week social media campaign, the votes are in!

The teams are competing for the following prizes:

  • First place prizes of $2,500 in both the high school and university brackets
  • One grand prize (selected from either bracket) of $2,500 and an all-expenses paid trip for all team members to attend the Geothermal Resource Council’s 40th Annual Meeting Oct. 23-26, 2016 in Sacramento, CA

And the winners are…

First Place – High School

Team: Team Roosevelt
School: Eleanor Roosevelt High School (MD)
Members: Edward Belsoi, Rokhaya Niang, Hunter Whaples


(click the image to see the full-size infographic)

First Place – University

Team: YalEnergy Rockstars
School: Yale University
Members: Christopher Paolini, Dana Patterson, Daniel Shapiro


(click the image to see the full-size infographic)

Grand Prize

Team: Infinity and Below
School: Carnegie Mellon University
Members: Tiffany Lai, Susie Lee, Marisa Lu


(click the image to see the full-size infographic)