Episode 106 - Building Green Competition
Eco Company visits the campus of Santa Clara University where a team of students are participating in a bi-annual competition called the Solar Decathlon sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. What do they have to do to win? They must design and build the greenest, most energy efficient house. They build it, then dismantle it and take it to the Capital Mall in Washington, D.C. to be judged. Adam gets a tour of the home they are readying for this year's competition. It's possibly a preview of homes of the future.
Speaking of the future, Jessica gets a large dose of it when she visits Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. There, in what they call the National Ignition Facility, they are building the world's largest laser...actually 192 lasers that multiply and combine into a very powerful laser that creates nuclear fusion to reproduce the same kind of energy process that happens on the sun and stars. It's 100% clean energy and produces no reactive waste. Could it be a primary source of energy around the world in the future? This story has a big WOW factor!
Then Jordan leaves land behind as she climbs on board the Kitty Kat, a boat on a mission to the Farallon Islands and the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. The trip has the special purpose of returning seven sea lions to the ocean in a protected place where they will find a lot of friends. But the trip also provides the opportunity to do some whale watching and to listen to underwater noise pollution created by large vessels traveling too fast.
Finally, Brendan catches up with a teen who is on a special mission of her own. Laura Webber is spearheading a drive to plant 1 million trees across the U.S. Of course she is not doing it alone. She has enlisted 24,000 members of 4-H clubs who are helping out! Brendan gets into the action and finds out that there is definitely more to gain than the simple satisfaction of getting the job done.
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