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We welcome 8th – 12th grade STEM teachers who want to engage their students in problem-based learning, doing STEM projects with the potential for real-world impact in mitigating climate change.

The I2M Challenges, structured to align with NGSS practices, can work in the following school contexts:

  • As part or whole of your course elective
  • As a final graduation or independent study project
  • As a free-choice option in science club after school.

Read a brief article  describing past student submissions or browse student videos.


 $4,000 1st Prize

  $2,500 2nd Prize

  $500 Critic Award

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Media tool kit 

The most obvious example of chemical energy storage is gasoline, which is basically stored sunlight from millions of years ago. Where electrochemical storage actually holds an electrical current, chemical energy storage uses energy to create a chemical that, under certain conditions will release that energy, usually through combustion. Using energy to turn plant matter into chemicals like gasoline is one common way to do this. Another is using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can then either be burned, or used in hydrogen fuel cells. Chemical energy storage is useful because it is one of the best ways to transport stored energy - it tends to give the most energy by weight out of the various storage methods.

Splitting water to store energy

Catalyst used to lower the energy required to split water, increasing its usefulness as a way to store energy (as hydrogen gas). 

Plant-based supercapacitor technology

Battery capacity and speed of charging are big limitations for electricity storage. Supercapacitors enable rapid charging, but are expensive to produce. This research team at Oregon State University is developing a way to make cheap supercapacitors out of plant cellulose.


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