The 2017 SMART Competition was a success! The winning team of this year’s competition was from Pius X High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Team members included
Jeremy Scheffler – teacher – sponsor
Kathleen Medill Natalie Schieuer
Tom Fulton Taylor Geirhan

The design changes they implemented were planned to increase the overall reliability of the equipment and building systems while reducing the costs of operating their school of the future. One interesting research finding noted by the students was that using wind energy would have been less efficient and noisier on their campus. According to Natalie, “We selected solar power because of the expected efficiency supported by Swanson’s Law”. Like Moore’s Law in the integrated circuit and computer chip manufacturing world, Swanson’s Law states that solar photovoltaic modules drop in cost and double in output efficiency every ten years.

The judges were very impressed by the research and implementation plan the students had for their project. According to Paul Wagner, a Bentley Systems Senior LEARNservices Consultant, “The student’s understanding of building information management (BIM) enabled them to make real improvements to the building and the campus that you might expect from more experienced designers.”

In addition to team member awards, the school will receive a $500 donation to support its STEM and CTE programs from Bentley Systems.

The SMART Competition ( is a STEM and Career and Technology Education (CTE) education program that provides high school students with a practical real-world design challenge that addresses sustainability, green design, localized power generation, architecture, the environment and the community. The competition is open to all high school students who attend public, private, parochial, charter and home-based schools or participate in informal education programs. The competition is designed to attract all students without regard or bias of gender, race, socio-economic or academic performance level.

For additional information, contact Mike Andrews,