MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION

This year, the most important photovoltaic conference is taking place virtually from June 20-25, 2021. Students of all ages (grades 4 - 12) are invited to participate in two competitions to showcase their solar projects and ideas:

  1. Solar Energy 90-second Video Pitch Competition
  2. Solar Future Narratives, a storytelling competition

In each competition, students are encouraged to think about how a solar energy (photovoltaic) power system can incorporate with their environment and enhance their community. Students are asked to present a new technology or concept, a new way to utilize solar power, or a broader use of solar energy conversion through a video pitch or a creative story.

Awards will be given for both competitions at elementary, middle, and high school grade levels.

A selection of the submitted videos and narratives will be presented at a special session during the conference, during which winners will also be announced. This session of the conference will be free to the public (online). More information of date, time, and link to join forthcoming.

Click on each of the categories above to see more details of each competition, and direct all your questions to SolarYouthScholars@ieee-pvsc.org.

Solar Energy 90-second Video Lightning Pitch Competition

Students are invited to present their solar energy projects in a fast and engaging 90-second video. Share your idea of how solar energy can make our future more sustainable, how solar can improve your community, or demonstrate photovoltaic engineering project that you developed. Record your pitch and submit by June 11th to be judged by world famous photovoltaic engineers and scientists.

To see a few examples of prior submissions, click here and here

Details on the competition rules and on how to submit your video are below.

Details:
  • Upload your video file by June 11th. Tips for recording can be found below.
  • Video pitch is restricted to 90 seconds. Videos over 100 seconds will be disqualified. Tips for making a great pitch can be found here.
  • Topics can be wide-ranging - just make sure its related to solar energy. You can show off a photovoltaic project and prototype that you developed or share your most innovative idea for a solar energy innovation to improve your community. Be creative!
  • You can work as an individual or as a small team (we encourage meeting virtually and following your local COVID-19 guidelines).
  • We are here to help. If you’re wondering if your idea is good enough to pitch, contact us. Our solar energy mentors can help you polish your ideas and work on your pitch.
  • Submissions may be shared during the conference and/or posted on the IEEE-PVSC website. A release form is required for each participant to be eligible for any award. The participant and their parent/guardian can complete the form here. Please complete the form as soon as possible so that we can update you on resources to guide your work.
  • Awards will be given across all age categories.
Judging Criteria: Video Lightning Pitch submissions will be judged across six criteria. Be sure to include aspects of these areas in your submission.

  • Solar Innovation Focus: Innovative use of the solar technology and/or implementation; degree to which the solar energy project provides benefit above what currently exists (comparison to state-of-the-art or to other power systems)
  • Development of Design Concept: How far have you taken your project? Describe the idea in a sketch, 2D rendering, 3D model, and/or working model. For large scale concepts - a more sophisticated description of the idea may be more impactful than building a 3D model.
  • Knowledge: Demonstrates understanding of photovoltaics systems, including solar technologies, power systems, and social aspects (e.g., ownership, maintenance, energy policy) at an age-appropriate level.
  • Social Value: How will this innovation impact your community or beyond? Is your submission connected Grand Challenges of Engineering or UN Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Rooted in Science: How well does your concept follow scientific principles and how realistic could it be implemented?
  • Creative Communication: The degree to which ideas are communicated effectively (clarity, "voice", engaging tone, creative use of the video media).
Direct all your questions to SolarYouthScholars@ieee-pvsc.org.

Solar Future Narratives, a Storytelling Competition

Students are invited to participate by sharing their vision of how solar energy technology developments will impact their life in the future. Imagine a future where most of the energy we use is produced by the power of the Sun. Create your own story rooted in the lives and the communities you care about. Consider the ways that human societies and energy systems are connected. How would a solar energy future affect your school, your neighborhood, your family and friends? How solar power reduce global climate change? We encourage entries that incorporate links to original musical compositions, visual art, and/or design drawings.

What Should My Story Include? No idea is too small or too big. Tell the story that matters to you using words, images, music...Below are some questions to consider:

  • Who are solar technologies designed for? Who owns them? Who uses them? Who could benefit most?
  • What are the technologies we choose to design? What is their purpose? What resources are needed to produce those technologies?
  • Where will we build the solar energy systems – both big and small – and how does that affect their design?
  • Why did we choose that place? Why is it important that we strive to make technologies beautiful?
  • When do we imagine these technologies taking shape? When do we need to get started?
  • How do we work together to turn our visions into reality? How does your story demonstrate the impact that solar energy will make on your community?

Judging Criteria: Solar Futures Narratives submissions will be judged across four criteria. Be sure to include aspects of these areas in your submission.

  • Knowledge: demonstrates understanding of photovoltaics systems, including solar technologies, power systems, and social aspects (e.g., ownership, maintenance, energy policy) at an age-appropriate level.
  • Social Value: Story touches on how solar impacts the author’s own community and on how human society and energy systems are connected.
  • Rooted in Science: Overall story is rooted in science; the narrative form may be sci-fi, but the story must be based on scientific principles.
  • Creativity: artistic/aesthetic value (effective use of the authors’ medias and artistic modes); innovative use of the solar technology and/or implementation described in the narrative.

How Do I Share My Story?

  • Upload your story (PDF or Word Document) by June 11th to be judged by world-famous photovoltaic engineers.
  • More information on past submissions can be found at https://ieee-pvsc.org/PVSC47/events-YouthScholars.php.
  • All work must be your own. You may produce a story with a partner if you prefer, but both of you must be under 18-years-old to participate.
  • Here are links to learn more about how renewable energy systems work: www.pveducation.org and http://www.landartgenerator.org/LAGI-FieldGuideRenewableEnergy-ed2.pdf.
  • We are here to help! Our solar energy mentors can help by answering technical and social questions about solar energy systems and photovoltaics. Just email us your questions, and we will put you in touch with a solar energy engineer. Please cc a parent or a teacher in your email.
  • Submissions may be shared during the conference and/or posted on the IEEE-PVSC website. A release form is required for each participant. The participant and their parent/guardian can complete the form here. Please complete the form as soon as possible so that we can update you on resources to guide your work.
Direct all your questions to SolarYouthScholars@ieee-pvsc.org.