Innovative ideas and solutions are needed to meet the growing demand for clean and efficient energy along with  green and sustainable buildings as well as living environments. Responding to the call for solutions are the 10 recently named high school student finalists teams selected in the 2017 Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition.

Teams from around the world will vie for the Competition’s $10,000 first place prize on Friday, July 14th at Stony Brook University, Long Island, N.Y. Now in its sixth year, the Competition is hosted by The Center for Science Teaching and Learning. The lead sponsor of the Competition is Spellman HV Electronics, a leader in high voltage technology in the medical, industrial and scientific fields, which played an instrumental role in generating the Competition’s international and national attention.

The Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition is a unique, worldwide research and design challenge for pre-college youth. The program encourages scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy use. Each year, the Competition focuses on overcoming great engineering challenges.  

The theme for the 2017 competition, “Creating a Greener Future,” challenged high school students to identify a problem associated with “sick” buildings or homes, building materials as well as issues associated with efficiency, damage mitigation, indoor environmental quality or a related topic of their choosing. The teams, made up of 1-to-3 students, each and mentored by a team leader, must identify a problem, explain it in detail and then design a solution that can mitigate the problem’s negative impacts.

“Over the past five years the Competition we have witnessed incredible thinking, innovation and creativity of students from around the world. It is clear that they recognize the importance of protecting the environment and developing sustainable solutions. We are certain that this year’s competitors will once again make inspiring presentations,” says Dr. Ray Ann Havasy, Director of CSTL.

This year’s finalists listed by team names, team leaders and schools are:

  1. Super Silk: Team Leader Mary Lou O’Donnell, Plainview Old-Bethpage JFK High School, Plainview, N.Y. Project Title: Utilization of Bombyx mori in the Production of Polymeric Graphene Enhanced SuperSilk
  2. Eco-Breathe: Team Leader Jennifer Gordinier, Pine Crest School, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Project Title: A Portable Low-Cost Filtration System For Kerosene Lamps Aimed at Combatting Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) in Low-Resource Regions
  3. Aquaponics-Farmers of the Future: Team Leader Laura Knoll, Park Christian School, Moorhead, Minn. Project Title: Aquaponics- Farmers of the Future
  4. Greener Foam: Team Leader Jae Andy Kim, Academy of Science and Technology, The Woodlands, Texas. Project Title: Use of Reprocessed as well as Bio-algal Polyols to Make Polyurethane
  5. Cloud Zero: Team Leader Sau Siong Chan, Raffles Girls' School, Singapore. Project Title: Device for Air-conditioning Units to Solve Transmission of Diseases in Offices
  6. Philippine Science High School-Main Campus – 4: Team Leader Donna Salve Hipolito, Philippine Science High School - Main Campus, Quezon City, National Capital Region. Project Title: Development of an Integrated Online System for the Regulation of Household Electricity Consumption
  7. The Dynamic Derek Duo: Team Leader Dina Ellsworth, High Technology High School, Lincroft, N.J. Project Title: Mold-Out! Testing the efficacy of Borax as a mold deterrent and preventer
  8. Power Rangers: Team Leader Erin Alvarez, Biotechnology High School, Freehold, N.J. Project Title: Increasing Energy Efficiency in Home Heating Using Compost Hydronic Heat Exchange
  9. MSSM: Team Leader Hendrik Lenferink, Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone, Maine. Project Title: Utilization of Unused Industrial Roof Space for Algal Feedstock Production
  10. Casual-dehyde: Team Leader Erin Alvarez, Biotechnology High School, Freehold, N.J. Project Title: An Alternative Solution to Formaldehyde in Wood Resins

Monetary prizes are given to each of the ten finalists with $10,000 awarded to the winner, $7,000 to 2nd place, $5,000 to 3rd place. Additionally, the winning team can continue its relationship with a professional serving as a mentor who advises and assists the team in furthering its work and education.

As lead sponsor, Spellman HV Electronics President Dr. Loren Skeist says, “Spellman is honored to partner with CSTL and Stony Brook University on this year’s Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition because its values reflect our long-standing commitment to clean technology and sustainability. It also promotes and rewards innovative clean technology product ideas submitted by high school students globally. These brilliant minds represent the leaders of the future in this growing and important field and we are proud to support their endeavors.”

This year’s entries in Clean Tech included 742 students representing 330 teams from 26 different countries: Australia, Algeria, Bahamas, Canada, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United States and Vietnam. The 30 Semifinalists embody six nations including, the Bahamas, Canada, China, the United States, Malaysia and Mexico.

For more information, visit the Spellman High Voltage Electronics Clean Tech Competition website at or call (516) 764-0045.