Best of the Best Change the World Challenge earned the “Best of the Best” honor and a $5,000 grand prize with its online program platform where university students who have a disability and are passionate about STEM fields can form empowering mentor relationships with industry leaders in the technology space and access job resources from companies. The mentors and mentees are matched based on their stories, experiences, skills, and goals. The mentor platform aims to bridge the gap between people with disabilities and the tech industry. The first cohort included mentors from several Fortune 500 companies. Created by Rensselaer student Ray Parker ’17, chemical engineering. In 2016, won a World Summit Youth award in the category of innovation for sustainable development goals.  - See more at:

Green Revolving Fund – promoting campus sustainability through reinvested savings discovered through sustainable energy projects. Rather than reduce the school’s operating costs, the money saved through these energy efficiency projects is reinvested annually into an account that uses the accumulated funds to promote campus sustainability and save the school more energy. Created by Luke Bateman ’19, design, innovation, and society and mechanical engineering; Caitlin Golden ’20, environmental engineering; Zining Liang ’19, design, innovation, and society and mechanical engineering; Lei Luo ’20, design, innovation, and society; Anna Miliakos ’20, chemical engineering; and Allison Mrugal ’18, design, innovation, and society. - See more at:

GridStarr – a deferred action saltwater battery back-up power solution for the home. Created by Patrick Calhoun ’17, mechanical engineering and technology, commercialization, and entrepreneurship; Jacqueline Curtsinger ’17, chemical engineering; and Zachary Hileman ’17, biomedical engineering. - See more at:

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