Guest Post: EPA Challenges Students to Improve Storm Water Management
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Participating teams must each prepare design boards, a project narrative and a video presentation. EPA experts in green infrastructure will judge submissions and will be looking for the following 6 criteria: Analysis and Planning, Preservation or Restoration of Natural Features, Integrated Water Management, Soil and Vegetation Management, Value to Campus, Likelihood of Implementation.
Thanks to Alvina Lopez for providing this post on the EPA’s Campus RainWorks Challenge.
These days, there’s no shortage of green talk or sustainable initiatives, as people begin to learn more about how our actions affect the planet we call home. Companies and households alike are making changes in hopes of becoming better, more responsible global citizens, but what about our next generation of leaders? What are the college students of today doing to lessen their impact on the environment?
Small changes are no doubt being made on campuses across the country, but recently the EPA has taken it a step further. The agency has created a challenge for undergraduate and graduate students to design innovative, green solutions for storm water problems that have become all too common and plague numerous schools from coast to coast.
Competition Timeline and Eligibility
Those interested in participating should be aware that registration is open from September 4 – October 5, 2012, with entries being due on December 14, 2012. Winners will be announced on April 22, 2013, which is appropriate as that is next year’s Earth Day. To be eligible to compete, student team members must all be currently enrolled in a recognized, degree-granting institution. There is no maximum or minimum set for team size. A thorough rundown of rules and restrictions can be found in the competition guide.
Participating teams must each prepare design boards, a project narrative and a video presentation. EPA experts in green infrastructure will judge submissions and will be looking for the following 6 criteria: Analysis and Planning, Preservation or Restoration of Natural Features, Integrated Water Management, Soil and Vegetation Management, Value to Campus, Likelihood of Implementation. The winning team will receive $2,500 in team winnings and $11,000 in green research funds, while runner up will receive $1,500 in team earnings and $8,000 in funds.
Submissions will be divided into two different categories—those that come from and apply to large institutions and those that are better suited for small institutions. Campus size and scope changes project priorities and needs, hence the distinction.
This whole competition came to be as the EPA recognizes the need for more sustainable infrastructure at sites across the country. Currently, storm water collects around paved areas and drains poorly, carrying with it tons of bacteria, trash and more—all into our water systems and naturally occurring bodies of water. The present systems were not designed to handle the environmental issues of today associated with climate change—and if something is not done about it the problem will only get worse.
This competition will serve as a great hands-on learning experience for students from all disciplines and will hopefully lead to a greener future.
A freelance writer and blogger for seven years, Alvina Lopez now mainly contributes about online colleges. Her ultimate goal is to help future students discover their potential by enrolling in the right program for them. She also writes about trends in education, personal finance, and sustainable living.