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3/1/17 01:19PM
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Portland Teens Win $10,000 Prize for Pod-House Power Invention

High school students in Portland have invented a light and energy source for “pod” houses called JuiceBox, and their innovative concept and design earned the teens a national prize.

High school students at Catlin Gabel School in Portland have invented a light and energy source for “pod” houses called JuiceBox, and their innovative concept and design earned the teens a national prize. Their invention provides electricity for off-grid, portable pods inhabited by previously homeless people, and includes a light and charging outlet powered by a solar panel. For their unique design, and their contributions to the community, the team earned the cash prize and top honors from the national Lexus Eco Challenge.

The core members of the JuiceBox invention team are Layton Rosenfeld, Anjali Haripriyan, and Tyler Nguyen, all sophomores at Catlin Gabel School in Portland. The inventors, known collectively as the Catlin InvenTeam, share responsibility for all aspects of the project, including concept, design, implementation, and outreach.

JuiceBox units are already in use, and benefiting those in need; in the Hazelnut Grove community, four of the units have been installed in pod houses. With the $10,000 prize awarded from the Lexus Eco Challenge, the inventors plan to expand the project, and they estimate that the prize money will help them create 25 more JuiceBox units. In keeping with their humanitarian purpose, the students opted to re-invest 100% of their winnings into the project.

JuiceBox units are mounted inside a pod house, and 100W solar panels are installed on the roof to deliver power to the unit. The panels charge an 18 AH 12V battery, and this power can then be used for an internal LED light bar, and to power devices that plug into a wall outlet or automotive accessory socket. See JuiceBox photos and technical details.

To ensure their JuiceBox units reached people most in need, the InvenTeam partnered with three Portland non-profits: The Pods for Peeps project [link], which builds small, portable, one-room houses to provide homeless people with a safe shelter; the Rebuilding Center, which provides recycled home-building materials; and the Village Coalition, a houseless advocacy group.

The Lexus EcoChallenge engages students to identify and address an environmental issue that affects their community. Student inventors from across the nation compete, and this year the JuiceBox inventors were the only team from the Pacific Northwest recognized with an award. They earned top honors in the Air & Climate category, and the opportunity to compete again in March for a grand prize worth an additional $10,000.

For more information or to arrange interviews with the inventors, please contact:

Layton Rosenfeld, student, rosenfeldl@catlin.edu

Ken DuBois, Director of Public Relations, 503-867-3708, duboisk@catlin.edu

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