Energy Students Leading the Way With The Energy Project
For the past couple of months, a group of students from Energy Institute High School have undertaken immense quantities of research and learning for the purpose of implementing solutions to various issues. At the beginning of my participation at The Energy Project, I was unsure if the program was a good fit for me, and was debating whether or not I should join it. Luckily, the Executive Director of the Puranik Foundation, Bhakti Salunkhe Puranik, convinced me to join. I was enticed by the many educational opportunities offered by the program. As someone who is very interested in entrepreneurship, I found that skills that were taught in The Energy Project taught me more about teamwork, design, business prep, and the overall journey of entrepreneurship.
The core curriculum of The Energy Project was split into four zones that consisted of assistance from mentors and experts in specific fields. The first part of the curriculum consisted of education on design thinking with a Stanford professor. During this, we learned how to come up with creative solutions to everyday problems. Following this, we practiced what we learned by finding an issue in our life and creating a prototype. By engaging in the process of design thinking, we gained experience that would come to assist us in our future endeavors within the STEM field.
Following this, we were split into groups of three individuals, based on our skill sets. This led to the introduction of the second part of The Energy Project's curriculum. We were introduced to a group of Rice University MBA students and a past professor, and were informed that we would be guided by them throughout the process of our projects' marketing and business aspects. With the help of the Rice Mentors, we came up with ideas that included portable water filtration systems, biogas, and a solution for an issue within the waste management sector.
Next, the groups constructed their prototypes during a build week at TXRX labs. Once the prototypes were successfully constructed, with the help of Junior Achievement, Energy students were educated on how to construct a business plan, and on how to pitch our ideas to an audience. After all of their hard work, they presented to three judges, as well as an online and in-person audience. About a week later, a ceremony was held at Post Oak Hotel, congratulating the Energy Students for all of their hard work throughout the program. After participating in The Energy Project, I am truly grateful for my experience.
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