Innovation through Student Competitions

It is a thrill to experience the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm of young people from around the world as they apply their curiosity and talents to address significant global challenges.  There are budding scientists and innovators all around us and I have been fortunate to recently visit with some of the best.

On an October Saturday in Datong City, China, one hundred students from 35 universities melded into five integrated, multi-lingual teams and immediately found their unique competitive spirit.  The teams eagerly answered trivia questions, celebrated correct answers, and were awarded materials allowing them to build a traditional Chinese structure – an Ancient Chinese Bucket Arch which is created by locking beams and requires no nails or cement to stand for hundreds of years. Amazing!

A joint effort of Applied Materials, Schneider Electric, and Tian Wei Solar, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, this spirited student architectural challenge was just a prelude to next year’s Solar Decathlon Competition in China.

The Solar Decathlon which pits university teams against each other to design an attractive, affordable, and energy efficient homes is just one of a number of programs supported by Applied Materials that inspire the innovators of tomorrow.  But, we figure why wait until a budding scientist is in college!

The Applied Materials Clean Tech Competition engages high school-aged students – in the San Francisco Bay Area, Xi’an, China and Singapore — in a design challenge that in 2012 will address the issue of access to clean water. Team Registration is now open.  And, Shanghai ‘s Future Science Stars invites students throughout the city to participate in mind-expanding science projects.  

As Clean Tech Competition and Future Science Star activities get underway, I look forward to seeing the results of their efforts.  Stay tuned.  You may join me in cheering as loudly as the student teams as their projects are revealed!

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