One of my oldest son’s best friend is an amazing young man named Joe Armstrong.  I feel like his is one of my own children, as I really think he spent as much time in my kitchen when he was growing up as he did in his own mother’s kitchen!  He has recently finished competing in a Solar Decathlon (sponsored by the US Department of Energy) with his alma mater, Appalachian State University, and we have an opportunity to vote on the house he and his team built.

Here is the link to vote: People’s Choice Award Registration.  You have to put in your email address, and you have until September 30th, 7:00 p.m. EDT to vote.  So. . . .please, if you have a moment, vote for the house built by Appalachian State!  We are very proud of Joe, and the hard work he and his team have put into this project. 🙂

And, here is the information about the Solar Decathlon, itself, from the United States Department of Energy:

About Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, and 2009. The next event will take place at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23–Oct. 2, 2011. Open to the public free of charge, visitors can tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.
Purpose
The Solar Decathlon:
Educates student participants and the public about the many cost-saving opportunities presented by clean-energy products
Demonstrates to the public the opportunities presented by cost-effective houses that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems that are available today
Provides participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean-energy workforce.
Impact
Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has:
Involved 92 collegiate teams, which pursued multidisciplinary course curricula to study the requirements for designing and building energy-efficient, solar- powered houses
Established a worldwide reputation as a successful educational program and workforce development opportunity for thousands of students
Affected the lives of 15,000 collegiate participants
Expanded its outreach to K–12 students by inviting schools in the Washington, D.C., area to visit on class tours.
In 2009, the Solar Decathlon:
Provided 307,502 house visits to the public over 10 days
Offered 32 workshops onsite for the public and held a dedicated day of workshops for builders and industry, which were attended by 506 professionals
Partnered with the National Education Association, which broadcast daily educational programming to classrooms around the nation
Reached millions of readers and viewers in markets across the globe through various media.


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