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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Mary Mitros 630-407-6706

Thursday, February 4, 2016

DuPage County and SCARCE Hosting 10th Annual Sustainable Design Challenge for Local High Schools

This April, DuPage County and SCARCE celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sustainable Design Challenge, promoting environmental and stormwater education within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum in local high schools.

“The Sustainable Design Challenge has become a staple here at the County. The County Board and Stormwater Committee members look forward each year to interacting with the students and learning more about the work that goes into their innovative designs,” said DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee Chairman Jim Zay.

The annual event, slated for Tuesday, April 5, 2016, encourages participating schools and students to design buildings and landscapes using sustainable design techniques, including LEED strategies to reduce environmental impacts and green infrastructure to capture and treat stormwater runoff. This year’s event is anticipated to be the largest to date. Also this year, student groups will present their innovative designs to a judging panel for recognition. 

“Not only do the students create models of their concepts, but they also have the opportunity to present their sustainable designs to professionals who specialize in these fields,” said Dave Krodel, Advanced Placement Environmental Science teacher at Glenbard East High School.

Krodel has sponsored students in the challenge for the past eight years, adding, "The rigor of the research and problem-solving combined with the application of content that students employ in their architectural designs has actually served as an effective review experience when students prepare for the Advanced Placement Environmental Science exam in May.” 

Over the past decade, several high schools throughout DuPage County have participated annually including: Wheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton), Wheaton North, Naperville North, Glenbard South (Glen Ellyn), Glenbard East (Lombard), Addison Trail, College Preparatory School of America (Lombard), Neuqua Valley (Naperville), York High School (Elmhurst), Willowbrook (Villa Park), Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South and Westfield Middle School (Bloomingdale).

SCARCE Founder and Executive Director Kay McKeen credits the dedication of local teachers who recognize the importance of creating a design and competing.

“We have had some schools participate every single year we’ve held this event,” said McKeen. “DuPage County is so lucky to have teachers who foster this education in the classroom because it’s something the students look forward to each year.”

Following this year’s competition, students and teachers will have a chance to tour the DuPage County Campus and learn more about green infrastructure practices used throughout.

For more information on participating in this year’s challenge, visit