Madison High School took home top honors Wednesday at the inaugural OTC Energy Challenge 2017, part of this year’s Offshore Technology Conference underway at NRG Park.
The OTC Energy Challenge is a team competition for local high school students to solve a real-world energy challenge, applying the scientific method with the aid of an academic coach and an industry mentor. Each four-member team received a $1,000 stipend to solve the challenge, and their projects were judged by a panel of representatives from the energy industry and academia. Teams were assigned one of five challenges covering areas such as remote offshore power, offshore wind energy, remote monitoring, decommissioning, and facility design.
In addition to Madison’s team, five other Houston Independent School District schools competed in the challenge. They were: Energy Institute High School, Kashmere High School, Milby High School, Westside High School, and Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy.
“The innovation and creativity displayed by our schools is inspiring,” said Adam Stephens, HISD’s officer of Advanced Academics. “And the opportunity to display their talents on a national stage, where industry professionals meet to exchange ideas and make advancements in the energy field, is immeasurable.”
Madison High School received first place for their solution to repurpose decommissioned oil rigs as their very own offshore wind farms. The team also received the Baker Hughes Award and a $5,000 cash prize.
The Madison team included Victor Contreras, grade 12; Terrell Jackson, grade 11; Azucena Lopez, grade 11; and Tah’Jenae Merchant, grade 11. Ivondela Eakins served as the team’s coach.
Students, mentors and coaches also participated in a panel discussion – “XYZ: STEM and Energy Across Generations” – to discuss different perspectives on potential STEM careers and the oil and gas industry.