A working bicycle made from plastic bottles has emerged as the winning entry in the first annual Juicy Ideas contest organized by AdvantageWest Economic Development Group and supported by Google, Inc., and DigitalChalk as a way to encourage entrepreneurship and communicate a message of environmental responsibility.
December 22, 2008 – Asheville, NC
DigitalChalk in partnership with AdvantageWest Economic Development Group and Google created the Juicy Ideas Competition for university students from across the country to compete for an design to reuse a waste item to create a environmentally friendly product. The contest site was developed on the Google App Engine by DigitalChalk, which specializes in education and cloud computing technologies. The winning team receives a scholarship, Google merchandise and a trip to the Google headquarters in Mountain view California.
The winning team created a bicycle that was fabricated by four industrial design students from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., narrowly defeating a wind generator made with plastic bottles by students from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. Rounding out the top five entries were a system using medicine bottles to eliminate dead zones in the ocean resulting from fertilizer run-off, created by students from Trident Technical Community College in Charleston, S.C.; wall insulation using plastic bottles, developed by Western Piedmont Community College students in Morganton, N.C.; and storm covers for windows developed by a team from Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla., using plastic shopping bags.
Members of the ASU team are Ryan Klinger of Huntersville, N.C.; Andrew Drake of Gaithersburg, Md.; Spencer Price of Louisville, Ky.; and Justin Henry of San Diego, Calif.At the national competition, a panel of judges individually evaluated each of the entries and how well they performed in terms of originality, creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and environmental responsibility. They also evaluated the scalability of each of the innovations. For each category, they assigned a point value ranging from one to 10. The judges had no previous knowledge of how the teams placed at the regional level, nor were they aware of the other judges’ evaluations.
The students learned of their status as national award-winners from Mary Radomile, Google Program Manager, who notified them via Web conference in the Board of Trustees room at ASU on Wednesday. Joining in the surprise celebration were ASU Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock, representatives of AdvantageWest and DigitalChalk, and a cheering squad of friends, classmates, faculty and others.
In a letter presented to the winners, Radomile said, “We are thrilled to have you visit us at the Googleplex” in Mountain View, Calif., Feb. 18-20, 2009. During your visit, you’ll experience a full tour of our facilities, meet with innovators from within the company, and even have a chance to present your video to us. We are very proud to be a part of the Juicy Ideas competition.”
Troy Tolle, CTO of Infinity Learning Solutions, parent company of DigitalChalk was on hand for the presentation and will be joining the ASU team on the trip to Google.