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2019 Go Carbon Neutral!
A Transportation Challenge

  • The original March 3 deadline has been extended! Applications will now be accepted on a rolling basis through March 24, 2019.

  • Apply Now Get Details

    Calling all college students—an exciting undergraduate STEM challenge is coming to New England! The Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge is a competition to create winning strategies for reducing carbon emissions in Boston. In 2017, Mayor Walsh set forth the goal for the City of Boston to be carbon neutral by 2050. The Green Ribbon Commission recently released a report that identifies specific and measurable steps the City of Boston must take to meet this goal. To achieve this, our community needs the fresh perspective of future STEM professionals.

    To launch the Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge, the Museum of Science has partnered with two organizations devoted to building a healthier environment: Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech startup incubator in the United States, and General Motors, a company who believes in a world with an all-electric future and a world with Zero Emissions. We are excited to connect with our region’s ambitious STEM students—all undergraduate students currently enrolled at accredited New England colleges or universities are invited to participate.

    According to the recently released Carbon Free Boston: Summary Report 2019, Boston’s transportation sector accounts for 29% of the city’s emissions. Challenge participants will be tasked with creating a strategy to reduce the greenhouse gases produced by Boston’s transportation systems. Transportation categories may include but are not limited to energy, fuel, infrastructure, alternative vehicles, or modes of transportation.

    Applicants will choose a transportation challenge and propose a strategy and/or solution, and semi-finalists will present their ideas at a culminating event at the Museum of Science on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Winners will receive cash prizes, and opportunities to promote their work within the STEM community!

    Application Process

    Applications will be accepted February 11 – March 24, 2019. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and semi-finalists will be notified on a rolling basis. Information gathered during the application process will be private and confidential and used only for semi-finalist selection purposes and not shared beyond the Museum of Science Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge review committee. All semi-finalist teams should be notified no later than March 26, 2019, and must confirm participation by March 28, 2019. Projects must be completed by April 19, 2019. Semi-finalist teams should be expected to produce a poster and video pitch explaining your proposed strategy for a transportation challenge.

    Semi-finalist teams should be comprised of 1 – 4 people. Schools may be represented by more than one team, and students on a given team may represent different schools. We strongly encourage students’ teams to have diverse STEM majors and perspectives.

    Each team will require 1 student team leader and 1 adult mentor/sponsor from the university or college.

    Apply Now

    Poster Session and Presentation

    Each Go Carbon Neutral! semi-finalist team must design a visual display about your selected carbon neutral challenge and the impact of your proposed strategy and/or solution. A poster PDF must be submitted on or before April 19, 2019, prior to the poster presentation and judging which will take place at the Museum of Science on April 23, 2019.

    Video Pitch

    Each Go Carbon Neutral! semi-finalist team is required to create a 30 – 90-second video pitch about your selected carbon neutral challenge and the impact of your proposed strategy. Your pitch should be aimed at family-friendly and community audiences explaining a key concept related to your strategy. Videos do not need to be of professional quality. Pitches must be submitted on or before April 19, 2019.

    Important Dates—Deadline Extended!

    • Sunday, March 24 (11:59 p.m.): Applications due
    • Tuesday, March 26: Semi-finalists informed of selections
    • Thursday, March 28: Confirmation of participation from semi-finalist teams due
    • Thursday, March 28 (5:30 p.m.): Greentown Labs semi-finalist networking event
    • Friday, April 19 (11:59 p.m.): Poster PDF and 30 – 90-second video pitch due
    • Tuesday, April 23: Poster and pitch presentation event, followed by judging and awards ceremony

    -  Judging Criteria and Process

    Your final poster will be judged on the following:

    • Name of team members and school affiliations
    • Transportation system challenge addressed
    • Abstract and proposed strategy
    • Technologies required for strategy — those that exist, those that still need improvement, and those still to be developed
    • Efficiency/sustainability of strategy
    • Data or physical model of strategy and/or solution (as appropriate and if resources allow)
    • Benefits and challenges of implementation
    • Accessibility for user group
    • References cited

    All semi-finalist teams are required to present their posters to judges and general Museum audiences on April 23, 2019. At least one member from each team must attend this event. The announcement of finalists and an awards ceremony will follow.


    All applications, posters, and video pitches will be checked for eligibility and rules compliance by the Museum of Science Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge staff.


    In consultation with outside experts, the Museum of Science Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge staff will select 10 – 20 semi-finalist teams based on completed applications.


    In consultation with a panel of judges, the Museum of Science Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge staff will review electronically submitted poster PDFs (due April 19, 2019), video pitches (due April 19, 2019), and in-person poster session (on April 23, 2019) in order to select one (1) grand prize winner, one (1) runner up, and one (1) second runner up.

    During the culminating event on April 23, 2019 semi-finalists will bring posters and set up at the Museum of Science by 3:30 p.m. Final judging will take place from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. The distinguished judging panel for the competition will include science researchers, science communication professionals, community members, and industry experts. After the judging session all semi-finalists are invited to stay at the Museum for the awards ceremony where three finalists will be announced.


    All Semi-Finalists Receive:

    • Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge award certificates
    • Professional photos
    • Acknowledgement of participation through Museum of Science social media

    All Finalists Receive:

    • All prizes listed above
    • Cash prizes (split equally among team members).
      • Grand Prize: $3,000
      • First Runner Up: $2,000
      • Second Runner Up: $1,000

    -  Complete Rules and Eligibility

    Eligibility Requirements

    Each team member must be:

    • Currently enrolled (full-time or part-time) as an undergraduate student for the spring 2019 semester at an accredited New England college or university.
    • 18 years or older.
    • Available (at least one member of the team) to facilitate their poster presentation at the Museum of Science on April 23, 2019.
    • Able to provide contact information for a team sponsor/faculty from your college/university.

    Ineligible: employees of the Museum of Science, Boston; minors (younger than 18).


    • To enter, you must complete a Go Carbon Neutral! Challenge application by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 24, 2019.
    • Semi-finalists must complete and submit a 30 – 90-second video pitch for final poster presentation.
    • Semi-finalists must create a 48 by 36-inch poster including title, abstract, proposed strategy, team member names, and team school affiliations. See suggestions under “Judging Criteria and Process" for more detailed information on what to include.
    • Semi-finalists may — but are not required to — use slides, props, and/or demos.
    • All material must be original or used with permission, with rights cleared for worldwide internet posting and/or with appropriate acknowledgment and credit.
    • Specialized materials and equipment are permitted, as long as they can be safely transported to the Museum and pose no safety risks in a museum environment. For specific guidelines, see the Guest Educator Safety Program or consult with Museum of Science Competition staff. (For example, liquid nitrogen and open flames are prohibited.)
    • All material must be suitable for family audiences.
    • Semi-finalists will allow the Museum of Science to make use of their video pitch, posters, and associated materials for educational purposes, with appropriate credit.
    • At least one person from each team must be present on April 23, 2019 for the poster presentations and judging session.
    • Prizes will be split evenly between team members; each team member will be paid separately.
    • Semi-finalists will sign a photo/video release.
    • The Museum will reimburse semi-finalists for up to $500 in documented expenses for materials used in their presentations and travel expenses. Reimbursement may take up to 30 business days.
    • Reasonable accommodations will be made for semi-finalists with disabilities. Deaf and hard-of-hearing entrants may request an ASL interpreter; please request at least two weeks in advance.
    • The Museum cannot be responsible for loss or damage to materials or equipment.
    • Finalists living and working in the US on certain types of visas may be subject to restrictions regarding the cash portion of the prizes.
    • The Museum of Science reserves the right to modify or cancel the competition at any time for any reason, including but not limited to an insufficient number of qualified entries received.
    • The Museum of Science has the final say on any point not clearly outlined in the entry rules.