2022 Challenge Honorable Mention – University of Kansas

Team Members:

Michelle Chen – Undergraduate in Computer Science

Liken Hanato – Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering

Michael Le – Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering

Alexis Ng – Undergraduate in Computer Science

School: University of Kansas

Challenge: Resilience for All in the Wake of Disaster

Develop holistic solutions to improve the resilience of the built environment, making equity a central focus of the proposed solution by strengthening the ability of communities—especially those that are underserved, marginalized and vulnerable—to adapt, persist, and recover in the event of natural or manmade disruptive events.

Project Title: Solar Schools

Solution: With no signs of slowing down, climate change has damaged everything in its path including electricity. Due to extreme weather like the recent snow storm in Texas or the raging California fires and an increase in consumption, power outages are becoming increasingly common. However, power outages do not affect everyone in the same way – lower socioeconomic communities are impacted the most from blackouts. The first power to get cut is areas with higher percentages of people under the poverty line. To support the lower income community during times of crisis, the University of Kansas team proposes the idea of a secondary power grid installed in schools to provide power to lower-income areas during an outage. To aid in efforts of fighting climate change, all forms of energy production will be renewable energy, primarily solar power.