ASBURY PARK, NJ – October 14, 2021 – Three students at McNair Academic High School in Jersey City earned first place in the 2021 Solar Landscape and Sustainable Jersey City Community Sustainability Challenge Scholarships. Students Harsh Patel, Eshaan Sharma and Ankit Mithbavkar earned first place for their proposal for more sustainable community garden irrigation.
Nayeli Rojas of Brick High School was awarded second place for a proposal to reduce food waste at her school. Students at Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies (also known as Edison Academy) and Voorhees High School tied for third place. The students at Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies proposed technology to increase the efficiency of solar panels by reducing overheating through a combination of hydrogels and radiative cooling systems.
Together, Solar Landscape and Sustainable Jersey City awarded a total of $20,000 to 23 New Jersey students who participated in Solar Landscape’s Green Ambassador Program, which provides training for high school students interested in clean energy. After attending five online webinars hosted by Solar Landscape, students submitted videos that outlined an idea that either improves on an existing product, making it more sustainable or a plan that will strengthen the sustainability efforts of a community.
“Today’s students are tomorrow’s clean energy engineers, researchers and leaders,” said Solar Landscape chief executive officer Shaun Keegan.
“Educating New Jersey’s kids about sustainability will be key to our long-term success fighting climate change. The students who participated in our Green Ambassador Program are already thinking about future careers. We hope that this program puts them on a path toward meaningful jobs in clean energy and sustainability.”
“Many congratulations to the winning team and all the recipients of Solar Landscape’s Green Ambassadors Program scholarship,” said Debra Italiano, founder and president of Sustainable Jersey City.
“It is always heartening to see young minds thinking about solving challenges to make our world cleaner, greener and more sustainable. I was very pleased to see the quality-of-life benefits that all our finalist projects provided for large populations of community stakeholders. What stood out to me about Ankit, Harsh and Eshaan’s plan from McNair High School is the simplicity and thoroughness of their four-quadrant irrigation system. They had a clear implementation plan and low-cost budget to scale it up beyond Jersey City School Gardens to park and community gardens, both here in Jersey City and in other geographies.”
The program is one part of Solar Landscape’s education and workforce development efforts to support the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy’s Community Solar Pilot Program. Solar Landscape has also spearheaded workforce training initiatives across the state to help develop and train the workforce necessary to support New Jersey’s growing clean energy economy. Earlier this year, Solar Power World named Solar Landscape’s director of community engagement Kate Gold as its 2021 Top Solar Changemaker for her leadership in workforce development.
Students at the following schools received honorable mentions for their submissions:
· Brick Township High School
· Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School, Jersey City
· Ewing High School
· Hunterdon Central Regional High School
· Infinity Institute, Jersey City
· Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES)
· Toms River High School East
· Toms River High School North
Solar Landscape plans to continue the Green Ambassador Program and Community Sustainability Challenge scholarships for high school students in 2022.
About Sustainable Jersey City
Sustainable Jersey City (SJC), a 501(c)(3) organization is a collaborative network of green community groups, individuals, government and private organizations leading Jersey City towards a more sustainable and resilient future. With projects ranging from rain gardens to community composting, SJC has been developing and executing projects all over Jersey City since 2011. For more information, please visit http://sustainablejc.org/.
About Solar Landscape
Solar Landscape is a leading New Jersey developer, designer, installer, owner, and operator of community solar and solar energy solutions for the commercial/industrial, municipal, public school and non-profit marketplace. The company has installed more than 110 megawatts of commercial solar energy projects in the Northeast. Solar Landscape offers a Solar Job Training Program as part of the company’s commitment to the Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar pilot program. When completed, Solar Landscape’s portfolio of community solar projects from the program’s first year will deliver enough electricity to power more than 3,000 New Jersey homes for the next 20 years. For more information visit www.solarlandscape.com.
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