It’s Study Week for our Decathletes!

Posted on — By Valentina Alayon

During the last week, the team worked arduously to complete our D7 submittal. The team successfully submitted it on April 27th. Way to go!!

This week, in lieu of a traditional report this week, this will be a little insight into the life of a team member. It is the end of the semester after all. Today is the first day of study week! Study week, often the craziest week of the semester takes place the week before finals. Although there are no exams during study week; it is the last minute cramming and final project submittal week.

The Challenge

One of the major challenges that come as part of doing Solar Decathlon is time management and planning. All our team members are full-time students and outside of school most of us have jobs or internships. Additionally, most students are members of student organizations or other research projects. Throw in a social life and good life balance and it sounds like there aren’t enough hours in a day.

In a general week, team members spend anywhere between 10-30 hours on Solar Decathlon. Outside of design and engineering decisions, team members are also involved in all sides of the competition effort. We table at events, give presentations, give interviews, and take part in outreach efforts. It’s a full-time job.

Why do we do it?


Every team member is doing this because they love our design and our mission. The team believes in our design and the idea that sustainable design should become more commonly used. Working on a project that you believe in makes it all worth it.

Getting the opportunity to be a part of a project of this magnitude is something that not all college students are exposed to. Team members also gain hands-on experience in a real-world setting.

How do we do it?

Our team works hard to maintain constant communication. Using tools like Slack to ensure that all team members are up to date. This also allows team members a platform to reach out and ask for help.

Seeing members from the university, senior community, engineering community, architectural community, and solar conscious individuals work with us is extremely rewarding. The community support makes it so much easier.

Combine all of the above with a lot of Google Calendars for scheduling and you have a formula for success.

Overall, being a part of something like Solar Decathlon thus far has been a great learning experience.

Good luck to everyone on their finals!!