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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Mary Mitros 630.407.6706

Monday, February 8, 2021

DuPage County and SCARCE Hosting 15th Annual Sustainable Design Challenge for Local High Schools

DuPage County and SCARCE are now accepting project proposals from local high school students for the 15th annual Sustainable Design Challenge. The Sustainable Design Challenge, which encourages students to construct building and landscape models using environmental and conservation-friendly design practices, will be held virtually with project submissions due in April.


“The Sustainable Design Challenge is something we look forward to each year, and, despite recent hardships, I’m so pleased it has continued with minimal interruption,” said DuPage County Stormwater Management Committee Chairman Jim Zay. “Through virtual means, the students are still able to interact with and learn from industry professionals as they research, design and construct their own innovative building concepts.”


In addition to inspiring students to explore careers in urban planning, architecture and engineering, the competition promotes environmental and stormwater management education within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curricula in local high schools.


SCARCE Founder and Executive Director Kay McKeen emphasizes the importance of applying STEM education learned in school to real-life scenarios.


“The Sustainable Design Challenge provides invaluable real-life experience for students,” said McKeen. “In school, they learn about the importance of sustainable concepts, including green infrastructure and energy-efficiency, but actually incorporating these practices into building designs makes a long-lasting impression. Inspired by the competition, some students then go on to pursue STEM-related fields in college and beyond.”


All DuPage County high schools are encouraged to participate. Past competitors include students from Wheaton Warrenville South (Wheaton), Wheaton North, Naperville North, Glenbard South (Glen Ellyn), Glenbard East (Lombard), Addison Trail, College Preparatory School of America (Lombard), Neuqua Valley (Naperville), York Community (Elmhurst), Willowbrook (Villa Park), Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South (Darien), Metea Valley (Aurora), Waubonsie Valley (Aurora), Montini Catholic (Lombard), St. Francis (Wheaton) and Lake Park (Roselle) high schools.


Registration will be open through April 16, and final projects are due April 23. For information on participating in this year’s challenge, visit


SCARCE will post all submissions in late April with winners announced in May.