The Environmental Challenge is sponsored by the Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section (AWMA-UMS) and Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA) – Minnesota Section, as part of their annual joint Conference on the Environment (COE).  The COE will be held on November 4, 2015 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Environmental Challenge (EC) is an undergraduate student team competition to prepare and present an optimal solution to a complex “true-to-life” environmental problem. The problem presented will be of current value, representative of the location of the event, and require multidisciplinary approaches for success. The EC seeks not only technical and scientific analyses, but solutions that are presented in conjunction with the development of appropriate regulatory approaches and resolution of political and community issues.

How can you help?  We are looking for judges as well for the challenge.  From a judging standpoint, the teams’ approach and logic in developing the solution is as important as the solution itself. The 2015 Problem focuses on a municipality’s water and wastewater issues associated with a local proposed mining development.

Team deliverables consist of the following three elements:

1)      Written solution submitted prior to the conference

2)      Table-top presentation at the conference (between 9 and 11 a.m.)

3)      Formal presentation at the conference (between 1 and 3 p.m.)

Written solutions will be submitted prior to the COE. The table-top and formal presentation will be made at the conference.

Judges are needed between October 26 and November 4 to review the written solutions. Solutions are graded on 10 criteria on a scale of 0 to 10. Written solution judges are not required to be present at the COE. Judges for the table-top and formal presentations need to be present at the COE.

The table-top judging is interactive with the student teams. The teams spend approximately 5-10 minutes summarizing their table-top presentation. Then the judges can ask questions and offer suggestions to the teams for an additional 10-15 minutes. Solutions are graded on 10 criteria on a scale of 0 to 10. Teams are allowed to incorporate information learned in the table-top session into their formal presentation.

Approximately 8-12 judges will be required, depending on the number of teams participating.