The JUMP into STEM competition, hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is accepting submissions from students currently enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities until November 13, 2020 for three new challenges: Advanced Building Construction Methods, Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB), and Building Energy Audit for Residential or Commercial Buildings.

  • The Advanced Building Construction Methods challenge encourages substantial changes in building materials or construction methods, leading to benefits such as increased productivity and worker safety through reduced construction time, reduced cost and waste, improvements to occupant comfort and health, and reduced energy use.
  • The Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) challenge encourages conceptual designs that support the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office’s overall GEB strategy in the areas of intelligent algorithms that optimize a building’s active and passive systems to maximize energy efficiency and whole-building-level interoperable and low-cost automation systems that enable communication with building equipment and appliances.
  • The Building Energy Audit for Residential or Commercial Buildings challenge is intended for solutions that expedite energy audits or develop a new energy audit methodology that reduces time and cost compared to current audit practices. In addition to proposing solutions, this challenge also asks teams to demonstrate the proposed energy audit solution on an existing building.

Students who are interested in competing have until November 13, 2020 to submit their idea. Teams of judges, carefully selected to represent a mixture of industry, academia, DOE, and the national laboratories, will select the winners for each challenge. Challenge winners will receive recognition and be matched with a professional for an hour-long mentoring session. Challenge winners and additional finalists will be announced on December 7, 2020 and invited to the final competition. The final competition will be hosted by NREL on January 28-29, 2021. Eligible winners from the final competition will be awarded paid internships at either ORNL or NREL during Summer 2021.

The JUMP into STEM competition encourages teams of two to four students to provide novel solutions to real challenges within the building industry, including a tech-to-market plan. JUMP into STEM not only aims to increase the number of students involved in building science, but also increase the diversity of students involved in building science. Teams are highly encouraged to include members from different majors and from underrepresented groups in the building industry including but not limited to those based on race, gender, and ethnicity. For a list of winners from the FY19-20 JUMP into STEM program, please visit the web site at