Student Innovators Wanted – JUMP into STEM today!

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon Village Insider

January 2019   

Student Innovators Wanted – JUMP into STEM today!


JUMP into STEM is an online crowdsourcing community, jointly hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which motivates students to engage in STEM field research and innovation. To date, JUMP into STEM has issued over 20 innovation challenges and received over 225 idea submissions, with 18 winning ideas rising to the top.


JUMP into STEM currently has Challenge #3 open specifically for university undergraduate and graduate students who are studying architecture, engineering, computer science, or other buildings-related disciplines. Students can participate in JUMP into STEM individually or in teams, but teams represented by two or more academic department(s) are encouraged. Technology experts will host several webinars to provide you with more information and application assistance. Webinars for the first two challenges have been recorded and can be found on the JUMP into STEM website. Applications for Challenge #3 are due on Friday, February 8, 2019.


The top idea-submitters (or teams) from each challenge will compete in a Grand Finale event at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, in Spring 2019 for as many as six 10-week Summer 2019 paid internships at ORNL or NREL. These internship awards are designed to promote an enhanced training environment for the next generation of scientists, architects, and engineers by exposing them to research challenges unique to the building industry.


Challenge #1: “Connecting the Right Data at the Right Time to Improve Residential Building Performance.” The objective of this JUMP into STEM Challenge is to identify and design approaches to influence homeowner decisions to optimize their energy use. Responses should consider one or more of the following:

  • How to effectively baseline the home's or specific end-use appliance's energy use
  • Experimental models to test, monitor, and influence energy use behaviors
  • Simplified data visualization and data schema to capture and display to motivate action

Challenge #2: “Fault Detection - Stop the squander! Identifying building malfunctions that waste energy. Designing New Methods for a Fault Detection and Diagnosis in Buildings.” The Challenge objective is to develop new methods to accurately and efficiently identify when faults occur and the type of fault based on different levels of available information from the building; and to develop a straightforward system of notifying and visualizing the fault and its impact for building owners. These could be addressed using new algorithms, processes/flowcharts, and visual interfaces. Sample data is provided online.


Challenge #3: “Pushing the Envelope.” Using a base model single-family home of 2,400 square feet built in 1975, design a wall retrofit solution that brings this home to the current 2015 IECC code levels without creating durability problems associated with moisture control. For climate zone, use your college or university’s locale.


Winning submissions should be thoughtful, well-articulated, innovative and/or unique. Details on how to submit an idea can be found on the JUMP into STEM website.


Women and underrepresented populations are especially encouraged to participate! Be sure to visit the JUMP into STEM Terms and Conditions and the application criteria for specific rules and requirements.




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