European students awarded for innovative sustainable energy solutions
Brussels, April 12, 2011 – Hydrogen solar systems, isolating paint and energy-generating pressure pads were just some of the innovative ideas presented by the 40 secondary school students from Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and the UK taking part in the Sci-Tech Challenge event organized by Junior Achievement – Young Enterprise (JA-YE) and ExxonMobil during EU Sustainable Energy Week.
The participating students were divided into mixed-nationality teams, and had just 24 hours to develop solutions to a problem that has been challenging governments for decades - how can people around the world use energy more efficiently? They quickly learned how to work together, as they brainstormed ideas and developed these ideas into business concepts.
The winning team developed a solution to provide sustainable electricity and heat homes in developing countries through parabolic mirrors, reused oil and a steam turbine. The group, made up of students from Belgium, France, Norway, The Netherlands and the UK, was able to convince the jury of EU institutional and business representatives that its idea was inventive and feasible for real world implementation.
ExxonMobil volunteers were on hand throughout the Challenge event to provide expert advice and support for the students. They took the time to share their insights and experience to guide the students as they made key decisions about how to solve the challenge and encouraged them to be creative in their thinking.
The Sci-Tech Challenge aims to immerse young people in a problem-solving exercise that requires the application of their math, science and technology (MST) skills and understanding. It is part of a wider initiative by JA-YE and ExxonMobil to motivate students to consider MST education and careers, expose them to adult role models from MST fields, and help them understand how important such skills are to solving the challenges of tomorrow.
“We will need a number of solutions to meet the world’s rising demand for energy in a sustainable manner. Developing the next generation of scientists, researchers, engineers, and mathematicians will be key in this effort. That’s why ExxonMobil supports and invests in education programs like the Sci-Tech Challenge that encourage students to take an active interest in careers in the math and science fields,” said Giuseppe de Palma, VP European Affairs, ExxonMobil and JAYE board member on the occasion of the European Sci-Tech Challenge.
Speaking at the Challenge award ceremony, Marko Curavic, head of Unit, DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission, stated: “People joining the workforce now and in the years to come need to be adaptable and flexible. Science and technology are key. Even if you are not a scientist, you will need basic scientific know how for a successful career.”
“Discovery of the link between math, science, technology and innovation is one of the most important things that young people can learn. ExxonMobil volunteers have helped accelerate this learning process for these students, which will help them in all their future choices in education and career,” said Caroline Jenner, CEO JA-YE Europe.
Speaking at the Challenge award ceremony, Mr Henri Malosse,President of the Employers’ Group of the EESC stated: “For 60 years now people like us have worked to create a unified Europe and a single market, so that young people can take advantage of this and have a prosperous future.”
Notes to Editors
JA-YE Europe (www.ja-ye.org) is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.1 million students in 38 countries in 2010. Funded by businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals, JA-YE brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JA-YE Europe is the European headquarters for JA Worldwide.
ExxonMobil (http://www.exxonmobil.com) is the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, providing energy that helps underpin growing economies and improve living standards around the world. ExxonMobil engages in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations.
Updated: 18.04.11 16:18