In 2012, NARA’s sponsorship of the Imagine Tomorrow competition allowed the event to accept high school students throughout the Pacific Northwest and introduced a new “biofuels” challenge. In addition, assessments were developed to gauge whether the event improved energy literacy among high school students and to determine the level of interest students had to pursue STEM learning opportunities in college.
Learn more about NARA’s involvement here.
Now the Imagine Tomorrow competition is poised for further expansion. Recently, Alaska Airlines joined Boeing and NARA as major sponsors of the 2016 Imagine Tomorrow competition. In fact, the competition is now named “Alaska Airlines Imagine Tomorrow”. This development secures sustainable funding for the event and provides the perfect backdrop and exposure to encourage high school students to explore the use of biofuels within the airline industry.
Learn more about Alaska Airline’s sponsorship here.
Aligned with the new sponsorship, the competition categories have been changed. For the upcoming 2016 competition, students can compete in four challenge topics:
- The NARA Biofuels Challenge
- The Aerospace Challenge
- The Built Environment Challenge
- The Food Energy and Water Challenge
Within each of these challenges, students can explore one of three approaches: Technology, Design and Behavior. In the case of the NARA Biofuels Challenge, this means that students can explore the technical challenges with producing fuels as well as the logistical and sustainability challenges connected with biofuel development and use. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top teams in each approach. That means that in the NARA Biofuels Challenge for instance, there will be three first place winners and plenty of opportunities for teams to do well.
To help teams prepare for the NARA Biofuels Challenge, staff and graduate students at the University of Idaho’s McCall Outdoor Science School (a NARA affiliate organization) have conducted workshops and other mentoring services to high school teachers. This year, MOSS will continue to work with teachers on integrating the whole NARA story into their curriculum and will serve as a resource for any teacher who would like ideas on how to approach the NARA biofuels challenge.
Learn more about MOSS’s contribution to the Imagine Tomorrow competition here.
Not only do NARA and Alaska Airlines contribute to the Imagine Tomorrow competition, but they have also partnered to conduct a demonstration flight in Spring 2016 using a bio-jet fuel blend made from forest residuals.
Learn more about the demonstration flight here.