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Students Team Up for Sustainability

Students at the P3 competition.

Energetic thinking: the P3 Team from Drexel University displays their novel reactor design for biodiesel production.

Student projects ranging from developing a technology to make natural plastics from wastewater, to electrochemical remediation in rural Bangladesh are among the 2008 EPA P3 Award winners. These and other student environmental projects were recently displayed at the National Sustainable Design Expo held on the National Mall in Washington, DC, April 20 to 22, 2008.

The P3 Award Competition is a national student design contest administered by EPA's National Center for Environmental Research. Established in 2004, the program supports projects to benefit people, promote prosperity, and protect the planet (P3). By supporting projects designed and implemented by the best and brightest students in the nation's colleges and universities, the EPA is able to tap into the creative energy of the next generation of environmental leaders.

"EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo, and the People, Prosperity and the Planet competition provide a window into tomorrow," said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. "These student teams not only develop technologies for a greener future, but demonstrate the passion and innovative thinking that will lead us there."

The P3 competition has two phases. In Phase I, student teams and their faculty advisors are awarded up to $10,000 in seed money to research, develop, and design their projects during the academic year. Six projects are awarded the prestigious EPA P3 Award and up to $75,000 in additional grant money to move their projects into Phase II: advancing their design from concept to marketplace.

All P3 grantees are invited to the National Mall in Washington DC during the spring to present their projects at the National Sustainable Design Expo. A panel convened by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world, evaluates the projects at the Expo. The panel's evaluations are passed on to EPA officials, who award six teams the EPA P3 Award and the opportunity to receive up to $75,000 in additional grant money to move their projects into Phase II.

All the winners of this year's P3 competition are:

Read more about the P3 competition.

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