Activities lead up to major announcement about UCLA’s Grand Challenge
UCLA's Royce Hall turns green. Todd Cheney/UCLA Photography
Bruins may have noticed a strange green glow illuminating UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall and Powell Library since Friday. The green sheen – provided by environmentally friendly LED bulbs, natch – is there to draw attention to a week of events leading up to a major announcement about environmental research at UCLA.
Many groups support Grand Challenge projects, which set ambitious yet achievable goals to tackle some of society’s most pressing issues through multidisciplinary innovations and breakthroughs. Examples include the Gates Foundation, the White House, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the X-Prize, but UCLA is among the first to channel the resources of an entire university behind solving such a challenge. UCLA’s first Grand Challenge Project will focus on environmental sustainability and will involve nearly six dozen faculty and staff.
Among the events leading up to the announcement will be the launch of a student competition Wednesday to award $5,000 in prizes to Bruins who can show the most innovative solutions to help UCLA or Los Angeles thrive in the face of climate change. A panel of campus judges and eco-celebs will choose from visual entries such as posters, videos or photos to be submitted by Jan. 31. The panel will award a $2,000 grand prize for the top entry and smaller prizes for the best vision for L.A. and for UCLA, and the best interactive installation that can be used to raise awareness on campus.
Starting Thursday at 8:30, the UCLA Grand Challenges Twitter feed
plans an “Envirothon,” when one green fact about UCLA’s environmental sustainability will be tweeted out hourly for 26 hours before the announcement.
Finally, Friday morning’s live-streamed announcement
will reveal how UCLA hopes to solve one of society’s “unsolvable” challenges.
In the week following the announcement, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research will host one of its Research Escalator programs
on Grand Challenges so that the community can learn more about putting their own projects together. Part of the initiative, the Research Escalator is a series of free research-related workshops that are open to the public.