The Environmental Protection Agency is hoping to tap into the knowledge and creativity base of college students to find new solutions to environmental problems. This is the third year the EPA has held its ‘People, Prosperity and the Planet’ competition. The idea is to get college students to form interdisciplinary teams…like chemistry and architecture students working together…in order to find innovative ways of dealing with sustainability issues. Program manager Julie Zimmerman says 50 teams will each get 10-thousand-dollars to spend toward their project during the school year…
“And then in May we bring all the teams to Washington DC and we have essentially a sustainability fair. So they set up a booth or an exhibit of what they’ve been working on. Then we pick the 6 best from there and they get 75-thousand-dollars to move their design into the marketplace, or implement it in the field or bring it to a developing world community.”
Zimmerman says past participants of the EPA program have already started 4 small businesses…including one that measures energy and water use in buildings in real time. She says another past winner is developing sustainable water systems in Honduras. College students have until the end of December to apply.
The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking applicants for its People, Prosperity and the Planet Competition. The program started three years ago and is for college students who are interested in sustainability issues and the environment. 50 teams will get 10-thousand dollars to work on their projects. 6 winners will then be chosen for 75-thousand dollar grants to help get their idea out into the real word. The E-P-A’s Julie Zimmerman says one group of past winners figured out a way to give people constant feedback on energy and water use in buildings.
“They actually saw a 30-percent increase in conservation when you got the information in real time. And they’ve been hired by Duke University and Sidwell Friends high school here in Washington to install these systems.”
Another past winner designed a better way to process bio-fuel taken from grease traps at restaurants. The contest is open to all college students. The application deadline is December.
Monday, 21 August 2006 01:00
EPA ContestWritten by WGCU Newsroom