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News Releases : ‘Find the Why!’ contest challenges students to design an energy-saving solution to prevent curtailments

Middle school, high school, and college students across the country are invited to participate in an energy challenge for the Omaha Public Power District, which could net them a cash prize, post-secondary scholarships, or virtual internships.

OPPD is among several Nebraska employers sponsoring real-world challenges for the Symphony Workforce Development Corporation’s virtual Find the Why! contest. Students who take part in these short seven-day virtual challenges will also receive assessments to be more self-aware, as well as discover their “why” through solving real business problems from various industry segments of Nebraska.

Symphony Workforce, a 501c3 non-profit empowers young people by providing them with access to our region’s most dynamic companies and startups, while providing incentive to discover a career path that aligns with who they are at their core. This, in turn, gives employers like OPPD valuable insights to identify, engage and nurture its future workforce.

The challenge set forth by OPPD will take place March 25 to 31, 2021. The utility invites students to create a scalable solution for customers to reduce their energy consumption by 10% in a six-hour period during the peak of a high demand event, like the polar vortex, to prevent the need for forced rolling outages.

Individual students or teams of students between the ages of 13 to 30 may participate. They do not need to reside in our area, as the utility recognizes the need to not only retain young Nebraska talent, but also to recruit young talent from a nationwide pool.

For more information on the challenge and how to take part, visit A winner will be named April 8, as determined by a panel of OPPD subject matter experts.