Second Place - Middle School

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 13: Climate Action

2018 Youth Design Challenge

This design concept was developed by participants in the Institute’s Youth Design Challenge. The descriptions below are from the team’s competition entry materials.

School: Wilbur Wright Middle School
Location: Munster, IN, United States
Coach: Laura Norman
Team members: Diana Knight, Clare Regan, Elliott McKeever, Mallory Dills, Vanya Christopher

Video Pitch

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Innovation Details

The team built a prototype house that uses little energy to cool a house, using a box to model a house and tubing to pump water to the top of the house so that the water is cooled due to outside air. The water will then run back and cool the rooms inside. The team then put a garden on the top of the house and the condensation is used to water the outside plants (and might need a few times to water by hand.)

The problem that the team is tackling is that cooling houses takes way too much energy and we use too many resources when cooling. Furthermore, most homes are cooled by energy that is created by the burning of fossil fuels, which is a huge contributor to global warming. By finding a way to have air conditioning without using polluting fuels, it can have a good impact on the environment.


The prototype is inspired by nature because a jackrabbit is letting heat out from its large ears. The design has tubing that resembles the ears. It takes in the heat from the inside and will cool off as it travels across the roof. The cool water will then circle will return inside, and the process will continue.