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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Mary Mitros (630) 407-6706

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

DuPage County and SCARCE Hosting 14th Annual Sustainable Design Challenge for Local High Schools

DuPage County and SCARCE are now accepting project proposals from local high school students for the 14th annual Sustainable Design Challenge. Scheduled for April 21, the Sustainable Design Challenge encourages students to construct building and landscape models using environmental and water-friendly design practices.

“This is one of the most unique and educational events we host at the County campus each year,” said DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee Chairman Jim Zay. “High school students design, construct and showcase green buildings. They answer questions from elected officials and professionals, providing a great experience for the students as they’re deciding on colleges and majors.”

In addition to inspiring students to explore careers in urban planning, architecture and engineering, the competition promotes environmental and stormwater education within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curricula in local high schools.

SCARCE Founder and Executive Director Kay McKeen emphasizes the importance of applying STEM education learned in school to real-life scenarios.

“The Sustainable Design Challenge provides an invaluable practical experience for students,” said McKeen. “They learn about these sustainable concepts in their STEM courses but actually building their designs makes a long-lasting impression. After the Challenge, they never forget the importance of green infrastructure, energy-efficiency and other sustainable practices.”

All DuPage County high schools are encouraged to participate. Past competitors include students from 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 Community (Elmhurst), Willowbrook (Villa Park), Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South (Darien), Metea Valley (Aurora), Waubonsie Valley (Aurora) and Lake Park (Roselle) high schools.

Registration will be open through April 3. For information on participating in this year’s challenge, visit

All projects will be on display to the public from 9 to 11 a.m. April 21 at the JTK Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton.