Three Madison High School students have been rewarded for thinking creatively about the future. Luis Pineda, Idalia Castro, and Jennifer Valle Camacho earned the honor and $2,000 at the Energy City of the Future 2050 finals at the University of Houston last weekend for their concept of using biomass as Houston’s main alternative energy source.
As part of a 10-week extracurricular project, competitors were challenged with envisioning new ways of developing drinking-water sources, transportation, and energy sources through the use of models, PowerPoint presentations, and public-service announcements. The exercise was designed to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
The Madison trio of Pineda, Castro, and Valle Camacho — who rank 1, 2, and 3 in their graduating class, respectively — were the only team who dressed up and produced a brochure and animated public service announcement for their presentation. The PSA also earned the team a medal for Best Technology Use, and a judge commented on the prudent use of recyclable materials in the students’ city model.
“My students were creative and really knew how to persuade and sell their product to the judges,” said their adviser, Amanda Torres, an HISD Career Technology Education health science tech.
HISD also fielded teams from Milby High School and Mickey Leland Preparatory Academy.
The competition is organized by the Harris County Department of Education’s Center for Afterschool, Summer, and Expanded Learning for Kids program and funded by the Education Foundation of Harris County.
“Energy City provides students the opportunity to explore energy professions while also studying energy and urban planning solutions,” said CASE for Kids Director Lisa Thompson-Caruthers. “Students collaborate through teamwork, a critical skill set for working within the energy sector.”