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Students learn about solar for trip to Solar Decathlon

Long-Island based EmPower Solar is giving high school students from Long Island and New York City a chance to visit the Energy Department’s Solar Decathlon.

To enter, groups of 2-4 students must research and write an essay about how solar works and how it can fit in to the current energy mix, and create an accompanying video.

The winners get a scholarship worth $1,000 and an all-expenses paid 3 day trip to the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in October.

One of the homes at the 2011 Solar Decathlon.

One of the homes at the 2011 Solar Decathlon.

The Solar Decathlon is a competition where teams design and build energy efficient houses that run on solar power. It has been running since 2002 in Washington, D.C., but this is the first year the event is being held in Irvine, California.

“We launched this competition to challenge our region’s rising stars to think critically and creatively about our energy infrastructure, to learn about the near-term practicality and long-term promise of solar energy, and to promote teamwork and entrepreneurship,” said David G. Schieren, EmPower Solar CEO, and Greg D. Sachs, the company’s COO.

“It also provides an opportunity to magnify the exposure of the Solar Decathlon competition, which we believe is one of the most inspiring and educational green building and solar energy events in the world.”

One of the participating teams is the “Solar Squad” from Farmingdale High School. The three-person team – one tenth grade and two eleventh grade students – say they entered the competition after hearing about it at a science fair.

“All three members of our team had a strong interest in solar energy prior to this event, and this provided us the perfect opportunity,” they said. “This is also why we would love to have the chance to go to the Solar Decathlon.”

You can see their video entry on YouTube here.


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