Announcing the Winners of the 2018 My Solar School Contest

Today the Ecology Center and its partners celebrate the winners of the My Solar School Contest, a Michigan-based K-12 school competition organized to inspire and support teams of students (grades 6-12), teachers and/or parents pursue solar electric installations at their school.

Winning teams were eligible for cash prizes and are now being presented with the following awards:

  • Grand Prize ($1,000) – West Bloomfield High School EARTH Club, West Bloomfield, MI
  • Runner-Up ($750) – A2 STEAM @ Northside, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Finalist ($500) - Gesu School, Detroit, MI
  • Finalist ($500) – Glen Lake Community School, Glen Lake, MI
  • Finalist ($500) – West Side Academy of IT and Cyber Security, Detroit, MI

According to Jason Bing, healthy buildings director at the Ecology Center, West Bloomfield High School (WBHS) won the Grand Prize because of their exceptional grasp of the technology and benefits, their thoughtful proposal and their extremely innovative approach to community engagement. “I would hire these kids! Their analysis is sophisticated and their pitch is really compelling,” said Bing.

The West Bloomfield based team is proposing to offset the electrical use of their science wing by the end of this school year through a combination of energy efficiency improvements and the installation of a new 20 kilowatt (kW) solar array. Their vision for a 100% Solar Powered Science Department is to involve students and the school community in as many facets of project implementation as possible. “We feel like this is our way of making a difference both locally and globally,” said student Jensen Hwa, project leader, and EARTH Club president. “We’re in this not only to save our school district money but to raise awareness of a much broader issue that our community has a right to understand and be a part of.”

Each winning team was recognized at the Michigan Earth Day Festival and will continue to receive access to technical assistance and support and be featured on the Ecology Center’s website.

Teams receiving Honorable Mentions include: Bullock Creek High School (Midland, MI), Bullock Creek Middle School – 2 teams (Midland, MI), Carstens Elementary/Middle School (Detroit, MI), Pioneer High School (Ann Arbor, MI), Summers Knoll – 2 teams (Ann Arbor, MI), Traverse City Central High School (Traverse City, MI), and West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science (Walker, MI).

“We’re just so impressed by all the teams who committed to developing these solar projects for their schools and community; we hope other student teams around the state will follow their lead to solarize Michigan K-12 schools,” said Dave Konkle, President of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA).

The My Solar School Contest was a collaboration between the Ecology Center and the U.S. Green Building Council Detroit Region, in partnership with Generation 180, the Michigan Agency for Energy, the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, the USGBC West Region, and EcoWorks. The contest was made possible, in part, by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Stay tuned for more exciting news related to the My Solar School Contest in May 2018!


Published on April 20, 2018