Solar Energy for Bright Minds




High School Photovoltaic Design Competition

Austin Solar Day June 3, 2012
Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez Street

I would like to invite you to participate in the High School Photovoltaic Design Competition during Austin Solar Day on June 3rd, 2012. This event is planned for the opening day of the 38th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC) being held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. PVSC is the preeminent photovoltaic technical conference in the world. The purpose of Austin Solar Day is to leverage the presence of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference to raise public awareness of photovoltaics and its potential impact on the community.

The High School Photovoltaic Design Competition has been held in conjunction with the IEEE PVSC for the past 20 years. This venue provides participating high school students with direct interactions with world-famous photovoltaic technologists and businesses. Austin Solar Day expects to attract up to 2000 people from the Austin community including PV installers, PV buyers, students, utilities, and the general public who are interested in including solar power in the daily lives. There is no charge for the general public to attend Austin Solar Day events.

There are 3 ways to earn prizes for participating high schools:

  1. $500 seed money:
    Upon confirmation of participation, a stipend of $500 for PV project costs will be sent to the school.
  2. Prize money:
    A panel of experts will judge the projects and cash awards will be made to the top 3 finishers. $750 for first, $500 for second, and $300 for third place.
  3. A PV installation:
    Top finishers will be eligible for a PV installation on the school campus (Solar on a School Project, below)

In addition to the prizes, booth space (at no charge) is made available to the high schools to exhibit their projects during the main PVSC conference. This is an opportunity to showcase the student’s projects to a world-class audience of PV experts.

The Competition:

The students are asked to work on their projects under the supervision of a faculty member. The design projects must demonstrate the use of photovoltaics in a practical application, using only photovoltaics as the power source for the project. The project must be able to be displayed in an 8 ft x 6 ft exhibit area. A table and electricity will be provided. The students are judged on originality, quality, and the ability to communicate the results.

Who May Participate?

High school students are eligible to participate, provided they will still be high school students in May of 2012.

Current Participants:

High School Contact
Travis Jack Jones
Pflugerville Chris Riola
Copperas Cove Al Sherrouse
Taylor Daniel Thomas
Keystone Jason Nydegger
Stony Point Greg Kemerer

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your participation in the Austin Solar Day activities.

Keith Emery
School Program Chair
[email protected]
(303) 880-2919

Bill Stueve
School Program Committee
[email protected]
(512) 4702-2344



Solar Energy for Bright Minds - Help Make a Difference!

Carbon footprint; Corporate social responsibility. Renewable energy. These phrases are more than just media buzzwords. They, among many others, have come to embody our collective responsibility for evaluating the long-term effects of greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. The recent earthquakes, hurricanes, and other weather phenomena have made it more evident that changes must be made. It all begins with education, and what better place to implement change through knowledge than in our schools? With this in mind, we at the Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC) are dedicated to helping a regional Central Texas school acquire solar power through our inaugural Solar Energy for Bright Minds initiative.

For the first time, the winner of the annual PVSC High School Photovoltaic Design Competition will receive a substantial PV system, installed on their school by a local solar- power provider at no cost to the school.

We invite you to share in the opportunity of creating this lasting legacy for future generations of Central Texas students. As a sponsor of Solar Energy for Bright Minds, you have the opportunity to partner with us to engage and foster the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business people in this burgeoning global industry.

There are several ways you can support our vision, including the First Annual Golf Tournament, the Pedometer Fitness Challenge, or by direct contributions. The flyers listed below further explain the role your company can play in this initiative. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions. We will be glad to provide you with additional information.

Sponsorship Opportunities