EPCC’s Renewable Energy Program was selected as a finalist in the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIS).
(L-R) Benito Oseguera, Roberto Alcala, Luis Lopez, Dr. Olga Valeria and Rogelio Madero, make up EPCC's Paseo Del Norte solar innovators.
CCIS is a competition put together by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
The competition encourages the development of crucial science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by challenging students from community colleges across the nation to propose innovative, STEM-based solutions to real-world problems.
According to NSF’s website, the teams must submit projects in one of three themes, Maker to Manufacturer, Energy and Environment, and Security and Technologies.
The entry consists of a written portion and a 90-second video.
EPCC’s team, named Paso Del Norte Solar Innovators, chose to participate in the Energy and Environment theme.
The Paso Del Norte Solar Innovators created a material for all standard solar panels that will reduce the point in time that energy production is negatively affected by high temperatures.
This would allow the solar panels to increase their potential power output by reducing the effects of heat.
“This opportunity allows us to further optimize our innovation in the production of the energy produced by the solar panels, which in turn will have a huge economic impact on the solar industry. We are simply astonished with the great news announcing our team as one of the top 10 finalists out of the 600 teams, in the CCIS,” said Luis Lopez, team member of the Paso Del Norte Solar Innovators.
The Paso Del Norte Solar Innovators are Lopez, Benito Oseguera, Roberto Alcala and Rogelio Madero mentored by Olga Valerio, Dean of the Advanced Technology Center and Renewable Energy Program, in partnership with Negawatt Industries.
Valerio said in a press release, “There is great STEM talent and creativity at EPCC. These students are our future innovators in contributing to a more secure and sustainable future. Not only in technical/research skills but as well as in entrepreneurial capabilities.”
The team will attend an NSF-AACC Innovation Boot camp at Arlington, Virginia in June where they will learn how to put their proposal into action and make real-world change.
Winners will be announced on June 14.
For more information on CCIS students can visit https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/communitycollege/.
A list of the finalists can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=191589&org=NSF.