Duchesne Academy team wins at 'Energy City' competition
Four 10th-grade girls from Duchesne Academy were among the winners at a competition to design an energy-efficient model of a future Houston.
The Harris County Department of Education sponsored the Energy City of the Future 2050 Competition, which took place on May 13. The 16 teams that competed all created a scale model of their vision of 2050 Houston, a PowerPoint presentation on how it would work, and a public-service announcement about it.
Sarah Scott, Erin Novak, Yuri Terada and Lilly Pham formed one of several teams that earned a first-prize score. Each team member will be awarded $500 from a non-profit called the Consumer Energy Alliance.
"They had a monorail for getting around Houston, because it would be less disruptive to the surface traffic and highly efficient," says Duchesne middle-school science teacher Kathy Duquesnay, who sponsored the team. "They had quite a bit of biomass energy that they were using, to generate electricity, that they got from different farming communities outside the Houston area."
In addition, Duquesnay says, the team proposed using moving sidewalks at Medical Center to harness "step power"—literally the energy generated by people's steps—and said Galveston Bay's waves could be used to generate electricity as well.
The students also had to describe how their vision would fit into the bigger economic picture of 2050 Houston. They had to address how energy solutions would impact jobs and the area's overall profitability.
"it was all done outside of school, on their free periods, or their study-hall time" Duquesnay adds.