PULLMAN, Wash. – Hundreds of high school students from around the state were at the Washington State University Pullman campus last weekend to compete in the “Imagine Tomorrow” problem-solving competition. The annual contest challenges students to seek new ways to support alternative energy by overcoming real-world obstacles.
 
George Roe, a competition judge and senior manager in energy management at Boeing, said the event is the first time for some students to ever set foot on a college campus.
 
“It’s just so exciting to see students that believe in the future, that are interacting with one another,” he said. “They’re learning these teaming skills. It’s just fantastic.”
 
Sophomore Adam Gefkovicz from Mt. Rainer High School said working with a team of people was great, but knowing the limits to a project can be difficult.
 
“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is to stay practical about what you want to do,” he said. “Obviously I want to save the world, change the world, but I can only do so much.”
 
To learn more about Imagine Tomorrow, visit the competition website here.
 
Imagine Tomorrow winners
Many high schools had more than one team.
Teams were given the option of approaching the challenge of alternative energy from four different angles: behavioral, technological, design, or a multi-disciplinary collaboration. In each category, both students and their schools receive monetary awards and certificates:
• First place winners in each category will split $5,000 and their schools will receive $5,000.
• Second place teams split $3,000; their schools receive $3,000.
• Third place teams split $1,500; their schools receive $1,500.
• Fourth place teams split $1,000; their schools receive $1, 000.
 
Behavioral: Students were asked to consider the question of why people are resistant to adopting and implementing alternate sources of energy.
First: Camas High School, the Green Machine: Education Through Compost
Second: Ellensburg High School, the Bike Wind Map Project
Third: Heritage High School (Vancouver), Promoting Biodiesel across the United States
Fourth: Heritage High School (Vancouver), Energy Games for a Positive Change
 
Design: Students were asked to design a living/working space with significantly lower CO2 emissions than at present.
First: Ballard High School, Algae Today, Oil Tomorrow
Second: Ballard High School, Myco-remediation and Torre Faction
Third: Tahoma High School (Covington), Design for Sustainable Urban and Rural Areas
Fourth: Auburn High School, What’s Lighting Your Street
 
Multi-disciplinary collaboration: Students were asked to develop a project that incorporates expertise from at least two distinct disciplines to address some aspect of the shift toward alternate sources of energy.
First: Heritage High School (Vancouver), Biochar Energy and Enrichment
Second: Ferndale High School, Anaerobic Digester
Third: Pullman High School, Revolutionizing Public Transportation
Fourth: Secondary Academy for Success (Bothell), Sustainable Packaging
Technological: Students were asked to invent or redesign a machine or process that uses sustainable technologies for energy production, consumption and conservation.
First: Bellingham High School, Myco-remediation and Biofuel Production: An Investigative and Comparative Analysis
Second: Redmond High School, Flying for the Future
Third: Ballard High School, Charging Tomorrow
Fourth: Pullman High School, Powered by Learning
 
Other awards
Most innovative: Pullman High School, Powered by Learning
Most likely to succeed in the marketplace: Ballard High School, Charging Tomorrow
Community impact (project easily can be implemented on a small scale): Ferndale High School, Anaerobic Digester
Global impact: Hudson’s Bay High School (Vancouver), Off Grid Wastewater Treatment
Advisors’ favorite (they could not vote for projects from their own school): Pasco High School, Efficient Windmills
Most inspirational (team that persevered in the face of hardship or obstacles): Lake Roosevelt High School (Coulee Dam), Healing Light
 
Newly participating schools (one award from each of Washington’s federal congressional districts). Members of each winning team will receive $250, and their school will receive $1,000.
District 1: Secondary Academy for Success (Bothell), Sustainable Packaging
District 2: Granite Falls High School, Racing Towards a Greener Future
District 3: Hudson’s Bay High School (Vancouver), Off-Grid Waste Water Treatment
District 4: Ellensburg High School, the Bike Wind Map Project
District 5: Sprague High School, Sustainable Electric Car
District 6: Clover Park High School (Lakewood), Warrior Tech
No newly participating school from District 7
District 8: Tahoma High School (Covington): Design for Sustainable Urban and Rural Areas
District 9: TAF Academy (Kent), APEC