Detroit Public Schools awards $25,000 in incentives to 39 environmentally-friendly schools during its annual DPS Go Green Challenge Awards Ceremony

DPS and City of Detroit Council President Pro-Tem announce new student Solar Detroit Design Competition

Detroit Public Schools honored the environmentally-friendly ingenuity of hundreds of students from dozens of schools and awarded $25,000 in incentives to 39 schools during its annual DPS Go Green Challenge Awards Ceremony Wednesday, May 21 at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School.

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the level of participation and enthusiasm from students and staff across Detroit Public Schools to make our schools, neighborhoods and homes greener,” said Emile Lauzzana, DPS Director of Energy and Sustainability. “The Awards Ceremony celebrates the success of hundreds of students and teachers leading the way in greening DPS.”

District representatives and City of Detroit Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry, Jr. also announced a new Solar Detroit Design Competition, a contest open to Detroit Public Schools students that will award $3,000 or more in college scholarships and solar prizes.  The Solar Detroit Design Competition will challenge students to imagine how solar energy can be a part of the revitalization of Detroit.

The DPS Go Green Challenge engages students, faculty and staff in practicing sustainability in their schools, homes and communities. This year, more than 50 schools participated by completing over 400 projects in three focus areas: energy and water conservation; gardening and nutrition; and resource management and recycling.

Participating schools have reduced water usage by an average of 11%, saving $120,000. In addition, electricity and natural gas conservation has saved DPS  $403,027.

Highlights of the ceremony included a reception with dinner, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School Jazz Band, student presentations, a photo booth, and project displays from schools.

About the Solar Competition:


  • The Solar Detroit Student Design Contest is open to all students who attend Detroit Public Schools.
  • The Contest challenges students to imagine how solar energy can be a part of the revitalization of Detroit.  All ideas will be considered. Examples include solar backpacks for charging computers and cell phones; solar LED street lights; and large-scale projects like turning an open field into a solar power plant for the neighborhood, or urban farming applications.


To enter, students must complete an Entry Form.

Final submissions should include the following:

  • 1-page written summary that tells the judges about the project and how it helps in revitalizing the city;
  • A picture of how the project will look. This could be a drawing, collage, or other graphic representation;
  • Other information that the student would like to share. (Maximum 3 additional pages.)


Submissions must be received by 3 p.m. July 11, 2014 at:
1601 Farnsworth, Building C
Detroit, MI, 48211

Partners & Sponsors:

EcoWorks, a non-profit partner with the DPS Go Green Challenge, will support DPS teachers and students in their participation in the contest.  Second Attention Strategies will provide a series of three solar workshops to provide in-depth background on solar technologies and applications. Generous support for the project is provided by Neighborhood Legal Services of Michigan.

Educational Workshops:

A series of optional Solar Educational Workshops also will be available to support students in this competition.  They are presented by Second Attention Strategies and are free for DPS students, teachers, and families:

Solar Innovation and Imagination Workshops (2 offerings)

  • Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, 3200 East Lafayette
  • Saturday, June 14, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Douglass Academy for Young Men, 2001 W. Warren

Solar PV Energy Lab: Hands-On Design Build

  • Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. – Benjamin Carson High School for Science and Medicine, 571 Mack Ave.
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