Energy - Engineering - Environment
(Grades 9 to 12)

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Welcome to the Energy-Engineering-Environment category of the firSTep Project Competition! This category is designed for high school students, encompassing Grades 9 to 12, and it aligns seamlessly with the overall mission of firSTep. Below, you will find comprehensive information and guidelines to help you make the most of your participation in this exciting and challenging competition.

Purpose and Benefits:
The Energy-Engineering-Environment category aims to empower aspiring engineers, environmentalists, and innovators to make a significant impact on the world. It encourages students to explore the intricate relationship between energy, engineering solutions, and the environment. This category fosters skills such as research, communication, presentation, time management, collaboration, and innovation, all critical for future success in these fields. By participating in this category, students will gain valuable insights into the complex challenges facing our planet and contribute to sustainable solutions that benefit us all.
Essential Elements of a Successful Project-Based Learning (PBL):
To succeed in this category, keep in mind the following key elements, with an additional emphasis on the importance of choosing a good driving question:
1. Driving Question: Choose a compelling and relevant driving question that forms the foundation of your project. This question should focus on a specific energy, engineering, or environmental challenge that you are passionate about.
2. In-Depth Research: Conduct thorough research to understand your chosen topic, gathering relevant information, data, and expert opinions.
3. Solution Development: Develop innovative and practical solutions that address the identified challenge, emphasizing engineering and sustainability.
4. Alignment with UN SDGs: Ensure that your project aligns with at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which relate to energy efficiency, climate action, and environmental conservation, among others.
5. Presentation Skills: Prepare to share your project through a short video and a public presentation at your local school round. This is an excellent opportunity to refine your communication skills and effectively convey the significance of your work.
Sample Areas of Work:
Your project in this category can cover a wide range of subjects, including but not limited to:
- Renewable energy solutions
- Energy efficiency technologies
- Climate change mitigation strategies
- Sustainable urban planning and design
- Environmental conservation and restoration
- Waste reduction and management
- Water resource management
- Green engineering practices
- Biodiversity preservation
Language Requirement:
Projects in the Energy-Engineering-Environment category should be prepared and presented exclusively in English. Proficiency in English is crucial for effectively communicating your ideas and findings in a global context.
Alignment with UN SDGs:
Your project should demonstrate a clear connection to at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This alignment ensures that your work contributes to global efforts to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly world.
Sample Driving Questions:
What are the most effective ways to generate renewable energy in our school?
SDGs: 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy)

How can we create a low-cost, energy-efficient housing model that could be used for affordable housing in our community?
SDGs: 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 1 (No Poverty)

How can we design a curriculum that equips students with the skills needed to address climate change?
SDGs: 4 (Quality Education), 13 (Climate Action)
Short Video and Public Presentation:
Participation in the local school round is a critical component of the competition. You will need to create a short video showcasing your project and make a public presentation to your school community. These experiences not only help you refine your project presentation skills but also provide an opportunity to inspire others with your work. Be prepared to share your findings, solutions, and your passion for creating a greener, more sustainable future.

We hope this guideline helps you, your parents, or project supervisors understand the Energy-Engineering-Environment category of the firSTep Project Competition. Embrace this opportunity, let your innovation and problem-solving skills shine, and take the first step toward becoming a young engineer or environmentalist who can drive positive change for our planet. Good luck, and let your commitment to a sustainable future flourish!