To achieve a carbon neutral future, it’s critical that governments, industries, and individuals consider the impact of transportation on our overall carbon footprint. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for roughly 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The Museum of Science, Boston firmly believes that, as with all ambitious goals, we will only achieve success if our communities broaden their perspectives and include diverse and fresh voices from future STEM professionals.
To that end, the Museum is proud to partner with General Motors, who share our commitment to promoting and fostering tomorrow’s STEM leaders, as well as the Museum of Life + Science and Lawrence Hall of Science to connect with ambitious STEM students in the Go Carbon Neutral! Transportation Challenge.
Students in the Challenge are asked to create a transportation proposal that will help to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. This year’s finalists have been working on proposals since February and represent schools from across New England, North Carolina, and California. See their proposals below and vote for your favorites before the public awards ceremony on April 22
Public votes will be combined with scores from our judging panel to select this year’s $3000 grand prize winner!
I'm Jenna, a Dayton, Ohio native who has been living in San Francisco for the last (crazy) year. I graduated with a BA in Sustainability from Arizona State University where I enjoyed exploring the different ways people care for their planet and environment. I've been at Cruise since 2018 as an Executive Assistant on the Go To Market Team that runs our daily operations. I have a deep passion for green environments - especially at the community level! In my spare time I enjoy reading historical fiction and memoirs in the many sunny parks around the Bay.
Blending technical excellence with business reality. Brad is the Global Head, Operational Technology Solutions at Oracle Utilities, focused on making the grid smarter. Brad joined Oracle after he managed the sale of LiveData Utilities (where he was the President) to Oracle in April 2020. Brad brings extensive executive-level experience growing public and private industrial and high tech businesses. Through his executive positions, consulting, and public and private board positions, he has successfully accelerated ideas and technology into innovative products and services for over 25 companies, Brad enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with his family, occasional triathlons, and mentoring start-up and growing companies.
Salem Afeworki LEED GA, ENV SP, EcoDistrictsAP is the Energy and Sustainability Manager at the City of Costa Mesa. She is a passionate sustainability professional with 15 years of experience supporting organizations, achieve their clean energy, resilience and climate goals in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Africa. She has also advised many cities and counties in Southern California how to best address their environmental challenges and recommend insightful policy, technological or technical solutions. She has a multitude of specialized fellowships and has received numerous awards for her work including the 2019 Energy Executive by National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a 2017 Eco Leader by U.S Green Building Council Orange County, a Certificate of Recognition by the County of Orange for the 2016 Engineering Award and the 2016 Urban Land Institute Orange County/ Inland Empire Emergent Leadership Award for the category of Engineering.
Teena is a Ph.D. candidate in the comparative biochemistry program at UC Berkeley. Teena is interested in basic sciences as well as their implications in clinical sciences. She has a master's studies in biophysics and bachelor's in biochemistry.
Weng-Ching (Wendy) Cheung, MPA (she/her/hers)
Weng-Ching's passion for transportation and public policy stems from a desire to create sustainable, equitable, and thriving communities. She currently works for Cascadia Consulting Group, a Seattle-based firm focused on sustainability. Her recent work includes leading communications for Seattle transportation projects, developing strategic recommendations for the Washington Department of Ecology, and designing and coordinating the Washington Climate Assembly, the first ever climate assembly in the United States. She hopes to continue to grow in the realm of transportation policy and planning. Weng-Ching earned her MPA from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and graduated with a BA in American Culture Studies and Psychology with a minor in Chinese from Washington University in St. Louis. During non-pandemic times, you can find Weng-Ching traveling to different countries, jumping her heart out at concerts, making solo-visits to museums, and sampling new restaurants. However, her current hobbies include journaling, sewing, watching anime, and playing weekly sessions of Dungeons and Dragons.
Cam Baillie is an Instrumentation Technician with the North Carolina State Climate Office where he helps to monitor, maintain, and analyze weather and climate data across the state. Prior to working at the State Climate Office, he was a high school earth science teacher in Virginia where he also developed and implemented earth and environmental science curriculum, focusing primarily on English language learners. Cam is currently working on his Master’s studying Climate Change & Society at NC State University where he hopes to continue working to create a more just and sustainable future for all.
Katie Geusz is Director of Programs at Greentown Labs. She oversees Greentown Launch, a partnerships accelerator program that helps climatetech startups advance through long-lasting relationships with established companies. Greentown Launch programs touch a variety of technologies, from energy storage to building materials to hydrogen to offshore wind. Before Greentown, Katie worked in process improvement and commercial strategy at energy management company Schneider Electric.
Dr. Ilissa Ocko is a Senior Climate Scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, where she pursues research on the climate impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and the benefits of various mitigation strategies. She works with economists, lawyers, and policy experts to find the most practical, long-lasting solutions to climate change. Ilissa is committed to communicating climate change science to non-experts using plain language and powerful visuals, and is an avid designer of science graphics. She earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University, and a B.S.E. in Earth System Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. Ilissa holds a certificate in environmental policy from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. In 2016, Ilissa won a U.S. science communications contest hosted by NASA, and went on to represent the U.S. in the international contest, advancing to the finals.
Mitch Sava is the VP of Innovation and Learning at the Museum of Life and Science, with 25+ years focused on driving commercial growth and social impact at companies, non-profits, and government agencies around the globe. Previously in senior innovation roles for organizations including Fjord, Accenture, Creative England, and NESTA, Mitch has helped establish innovation and venture labs for government agencies, consultancies and companies, pushed policies with the UN, reimagined the future of industries from insurance to beer, and worked with firms from pharmaceuticals to phones to help them avoid becoming the next “Blockbuster Video” of their industry. Mitch is a Fellow of the RSA and the Marshall Memorial Fund, President of the Board of the Museum Computer Network, and Chair of Audacity Labs, a start-up incubator for teen entrepreneurs. He holds an MPA in innovation and entrepreneurship policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MSc in Technology and Human Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, and a BS in Computer Science from the College of William & Mary.
I’m originally from the Rocky Mountains region. As far back as I can remember, I have had a deep love for nature and learning. This has driven me to a wandering path of wonder and exploration. Along the way, I studied biology and environmental science at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology followed by a Master of Science in Biology degree from the University of New Mexico, where I fell in love with teaching. When I moved to Durham, I found work with the Town of Chapel Hill and the City of Durham and enjoyed many wonderful days of outdoor recreation programs. I also continued to work in research with the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park. I eventually found a home at the Museum where I have worn many hats over the years. I am currently a Program Manager with our Innovation and Learning team and I work primarily with our facilitated spaces like TinkerLab, Studio Earth, The Lab, and our nature spaces. Recently, I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop digital content including virtual camps and classes, and, in partnership with Durham Public Schools, Real Science: Field Trip Fridays.
My name is David Knudsen, I am an Associate Program Manager at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC. At the Museum, I specialize in developing tinkering and technology-based programs and curriculum. I have developed education programs for elementary and middle school students where they learn about the effects of climate change and create their own environmentally sustainable projects. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from North Carolina State University.
Nestor is a French-Australian systems engineer. His career began in EVs, and in 2019 he joined the team at Cruise to work on robotic taxis. His climate conscience was dramatically heightened following the end of 2019, upon exposure to the tragic fires in Australia. He is currently researching the problems we will need to solve to mitigate climate change, and is in search of the most impactful levers we can pull to affect change. He is humbled by the amazing mentees and participants, and excited to work with them on these critical challenges.
Tracy has spent the last 13 years of her career in the clean energy and sustainability space with the last 3 years focused specifically on decarbonizing the transportation sector. She has most recently been the Sr Fleet Energy Manager at Cruise, a self-driving technology company based in San Francisco, where she was responsible for Cruise becoming the first and only autonomous vehicle company to run a fully electric fleet powered by 100% renewable energy. Prior to Cruise, Tracy was a Manager at Pacific Gas & Electric Company where she advised medium and heavy duty fleet owners on strategies to electrify their fleets. She also developed strategy and policy focused on the integration of solar and storage into the grid and led several product development efforts. She holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business and a BA from Williams College.
Ankitha Doddanari is currently an Associate Specialist in Southern California Edison's Resource & Environmental Planning and Strategy Team. Her educational background is in Sustainable Environmental Design from the University of California, Berkeley and her professional passion is for climate action and adaptation work in the utility and urban planning space.
Becki Kipling is Manager of Research & Development at the Museum of Science, Boston, where she is responsible for overseeing projects that apply research to practice in the design of exhibitions and programs. She directs the Museum’s nationally recognized Living Laboratory program, which offers families the opportunity to meet local scientists and participate in child development and behavioral research studies during their museum visit, and offers local students opportunities to gain interdisciplinary training, mentorship and practical experience in science research, science communication and science education. Ms. Kipling's current projects explore the role of emotion and affect in creating accessible and inclusive STEM learning experiences in museum environments.
Sara Benson is an Education Associate at the Museum of Science, Boston. Sara’s current work is focused on engaging audiences of all ages about climate change, more specifically around extreme heat and sea level rise. Before joining the museum, Sara was an environmental educator and worked on research projects surrounding marine policy. Sara has her MA in Marine Affairs from University of Rhode Island and her BS in Marine Biology from University of North Carolina Wilmington.