Solar Solutions to the Rescue

The H20asis project, a solar-powered reverse osmosis water supplier system, from Cupertino High School won first place in the San Francisco Clean Tech Competition.

The presentations were first-rate and the innovations were ingenious, but what impressed me most at the recent judging of Clean Tech Competition projects in Silicon Valley, Calif. was the focus on how technology can improve the way

people live.

In this inaugural year of the Competition, presented by Applied Materials, student ages 13-18 worked in teams both in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Xi’an, China to design a solar solution to a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of a real or imagined natural disaster. At the California judging recently held at Santa Clara University, students described earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions and then demonstrated their solutions ranging from food storage and cooking systems to communication and location devices to solar masks.

At the heart of each project was the realization that lives would be negatively impacted by a disaster and solar powered technology could help provide basic human needs – including mobility, clean water, and family reunification – in times of distress.

Check out the award-winning projects listed below, follow recent media mentions, and watch for more information on the Clean Tech Competition as judging continues on March 17th in Xi’an, China.

San Francisco Bay Area Competition Winners:

1st place grand-prize winner:

John Zhao, Melody Hsu and Jun Chang

Coach: Daniel Stavis

Mentor: Robert Visser

School: Cupertino High School, Cupertino

Project: H2Oasis


2nd place winners:

Erix Linxie, Anthony Lim, Kenny Wibowo and Eric Lee

Coach: Robert Jackson

Mentor: Daniel Handjojo

School: Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon

Project: Solar Cube Battery


Jonathan Russo and Matthew Malone

Coach: Allister Chang

School: Willow Glen High School, San Jose

Project: L.A.T.S. (Location Awareness & Tracking System)

3rd place winners:

Maya Sathaye, Shelby Rorabaugh and Lorraine Wong

Coach: Smitri Koodanjeri

Mentor: Martin Gothberg

School: The Harker School, San Jose

Project: A Solar Alternative to Charge Electric Wheelchairs


Kadhir Manickam and Christopher Oh

Coach: Renee Fallon

Mentor: Suketo Parikh

School: Monta Vista High School, Cupertino

Project: The Facio


Linxuan Fang, Samir Ghosh and Jaxon Welsh

Coach: Bakari Holmes

Mentor: Hemant Mungekar

School: Gunn High School, Palo Alto

Project: Project Sizzle

Finalist winners:

Yuzhang Chen and Aditya Gande

Coach: Daniel Stavis

Mentor: Sushil Padiyar

School: Cupertino High School, Cupertino

Project: FRED (Flood Relief Emergency Device)


Mary Gong and Surabhi Madhvapathy

Coach: Ram Narayanan

Mentor: Michael Stewart

School: Leland High School, San Jose

Project: Solar Mask


Lillian Chu, Marian Chu and Joshua Tsuei

Coach: Lisa Cochrum

Mentor: Ken Chu

School: Saratoga High School, Saratoga

School: Monta Vista High School, Cupertino

Project: How to Keep Food Fresh After an Earthquake


Ray Chen, Catherine Nguyen and Margaret Qian

Coach: Bakari Holmes

Mentor: Darshini Desai

School: Gunn High School, Palo Alto

Project: Earthquake Emergency Communication System (EECS)

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