A Fast Pitch competition will be held for local nonprofits March 28 at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts. Participating nonprofits will have to give a three-minute pitch in front of a live audience to convince judges to award them cash, mentoring and communication-building training. The top prize is $20,000 a year for up to five years, plus continued hands-on attention from top business executives. Terri Wogan, executive director of Social Venture Partners Arizona, a group that brings a venture capital approach to supporting nonprofits, will talk about the fast pitch event along with Kristy Roschke, executive director of SPOT 127, the top winner of Fast Pitch 2014.
The winner of the city of Phoenix’s “Smart City Hack” will be announced October 21. That finalist will go to the international Smart City Hack competition, “which seeks to turn citizens into solutions builders, empowering them to develop functioning technology products that solve pressing civic challenges.” We’ll talk with Dominic Papa, founder of the Institute for Digital Progress, who will give us an overview of the competition along with a Jedidiah Woods, chief operations officer and co-founder of the winning company, Storage Together, which connects those who need to store something with those with room to store it.
The U.S. Olympic team is dominating the medal count, and much of that can be credited to a change in a law 40 years ago that promoted more female athletes. We’ll take look at how Title IX helped change the athletic competition landscape not only in Rio but for all female athletes.
Thanks to a grant from the Maricopa County Industrial Development Authority, the First Annual Regional SeaPerch Underwater Robotics Competition was held over the weekend. The competition took place at the Chandler High School Aquatics Center, featuring 25 underwater robotic teams from Maricopa County hoping to earn a spot in the SeaPerch International Competition in Boston in May. Bill Badger, the lead of the local competition, will tell us more, along with Madeline Badger, one of the competitors.
The “Make Energy: A U.S.–Mexico Innovation Challenge” was recently held and invited inventors from all over the world to submit projects that generate clean energy. The winner created homemade AA batteries. The event was organized by several groups in the U.S. and Mexico, including Arizona State University. Joey Eschrich, editor and program manager at ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination, will tell us about the competition.
The first-ever Southwest Vocal Competition is being held at the Mayo Clinic’s Shea Campus in Scottsdale. It’s an effort to find singers with the best voices, who will be awarded a chance to perform with the Phoenix Opera Orchestra at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix February 8. Besides the competition aspect, it’s also an education effort on the part of Mayo Clinic’s Voice Department to talk about voice health. Gail Massaro, the co-founder and creative director of the Phoenix Opera, will talk about the competition, along with Dr. David Lott from the Mayo Voice Department.
Arizona State University is among 16 universities chosen out of 100 applicants to be in the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition EcoCar 3 program. It’s a four-year contest and students at the ASU Polytechnic campus in Mesa will work on transforming a Chevrolet Camaro to run on alternative fuels. Abdel Mayyas, the Lead Faculty Advisor for the ASU-EcoCAR 3 project, will discuss his group’s mission.
Nearly 250 Arizona high school students recently participated in an app competition in Gilbert. The App Resource and Knowledge App League is in its second year, with students from all skill levels learning the process of developing a mobile application. The event is the official launch of SPARK App League, a three-month contest challenging students to build a mobile application for Gilbert Fire and Rescue. Ashish Amresh, an assistant professor at Arizona State University, will talk about the app competition.
The Arizona Corporation Commission has decided to take another look at renewable energy standards, which requires that 15% of energy generated in the state come from renewable sources by 2025. Thirty percent of that energy must come from small energy generation sources, mostly rooftop solar. Arizona Public Service Company has asked the commission to end that requirement because the method of counting those sources has been eliminated. Solar panel installers fear it’s an attempt to eliminate the competition on the part of APS. Amanda Ormond, managing director of the Western Grid Group and former director of the Arizona Energy Office, will discuss the possible rule changes.
Sociologist Hilary Levey Friedman has written a book titled “Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture.” It looks at the role of after-school competitive activities in future life success. Friedman’s book also examines gender roles in competitive activities. Friedman will talk about her book and concepts.
The Arizona Corporation Commission is looking into possibly deregulating the electrical industry, calling it “marketplace competition.” Deregulation proponent Stan Barnes of Copper State consulting and Chuck Coughlin of the Arizona Power Consumers Coalition, which is against deregulation, will discuss the issue.
Phoenix-based painter and sculptor Eddie Mitchell is on the short list to be named to the 100 Painters of Tomorrow, a competition judged by art experts from all over the world. He was chosen for the short list from among 4,200 painters from around the world. The final 100 will be chosen by the end of the summer, and their work will be exhibited at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2014, and it will be published in a forthcoming book. Mitchell will talk about his art and his nomination.
Arizona State University is hosting the 6th Bosendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competitions on January 6-13, 2013. Competition founder and ASU Associate Professor of Piano, Dr. Baruch Meir, talks about some of the special features of this year’s competitions.
The Arizona Competitive Districts Coalition has launched an online mapping tool and a redistricting competition that lets the public try its hand at redrawing Arizona’s political boundaries. Learn more about it from co-chairs of the Coalition, Roberta Voss and Ken Clark.
Arizona is in the running to win nearly $250 million for public education in the federal Race to the Top competition. As one of 19 finalists, the state recently defended its application in Washington, D.C. Now, it waits to find out if it’s a winner. Eileen Klein, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, and Paul Koehler of WestEd discuss the state’s application.
Arizona didn’t exactly race to the top in its effort to win federal education funding in round one of the national “Race to the Top” grant competition. In fact, Arizona’s grant application was very near the bottom. Find out what went wrong, and what Arizona must do to become more competitive in round two.
A review of some of the 2009 Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Award winners with Valley Forward President, Diane Brossart and Jay Hicks, a landscape architect and planner who served as lead judge for the competition.