PULLMAN – WSU will host some 500 high school students from across the state May 9-11 as they participate in “Imagine Tomorrow,” an inaugural competition that asks students to envision viable solutions to the planet’s growing energy needs.
 
Meant to prompt students to explore actionable ideas regarding energy use, this year’s competition attracted approximately 140 teams of students from grades 9 through 12.
 
The teams will present their energy solutions using displays that will be set up and judged throughout the day on Saturday, May 10. The presentations are open to the public to view from 8:30 – 11:30 and from 12:30 – 2 p.m. in Bohler Gymnasium.
 
“This competition shows our future leaders how they can make a positive difference in the world – and rewards them for their great ideas,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd.
 
The competition is open to all Washington high school-age students, the event offers awards of as much as $5,000 to the teams that present the best overall concepts, with similar awards for their schools.
 
The awards are made possible through a number of corporate and public sponsorships, including those of The Boeing Company, The Bullitt Foundation, Vulcan, Inc., Weyerhaeuser, BP, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and others.
 
International Earth Day founder Denis Hayes, chair of the International Earth Day Network and president of the Bullitt Foundation, and one of “Time” magazine’s “Heroes of the Planet,” will deliver the event’s keynote address.
 
“Not only does this competition instill a sense of civic responsibility in students, it also shows them the resources and methods they can use to enact positive change for the environment,” Hayes said.
 
Hays speech is at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum during the competition’s awards ceremony, which is also free and open to the public.
 
 
The state’s business and opinion leaders will serve as competition judges alongside WSU faculty. Many judges also volunteered their expertise to plan the competition and offer guidance to contestants. Through an online forum, both
professors and professionals have been involved in responding to contestants’ questions as they have developed their ideas.
 
“Students have benefited from the university’s expertise in research and the vast knowledge of faculty members from virtually every discipline,” said WSU Director of Undergraduate Research David Bahr. “The competition encourages interdisciplinary efforts and offers special awards for entries that bridge different disciplines.”
 
For more information on the “Imagine Tomorrow” competition, visit imagine.wsu.edu.