Building Leadership Around Sustainable Transformation (BLAST)

2024 BLAST is over, however, we’re looking to making it an annual event. Join the NEST mailing list to receive updates!

Calling all high school students!

There are many environmental problems to solve, but have you ever thought about creating those solutions yourself? 

  • If you love coding, you could create an app to help people answer that daily question: Is this recyclable? 
  • If you enjoy being outdoors, you could plant a garden to replace an unused patch of turfgrass. 
  • If you like talking to people, you could knock on doors and hand out energy-efficient LED light bulbs. 

What’s your idea? 

Submit an application to the BLAST competition – Building Leadership Around Sustainable Transformation. You can apply to compete as part of a fall 2023 cohort (Cohort 1) or winter/spring 2024 cohort (Cohort 2), culminating in the BLAST competition in April 2024. 

All participants will receive mentorship before the competition, with the option to continue after the competition. Not only will you get access to a mentor, but you will also have a chance to win funding and recognition at the Shark Tank-type competition. Any prize money can be used to help with project implementation and/or continuing your education. 

Click the Apply button to participate. You may submit your application as an individual or as a team. There is no limit on team size. 

Have questions or want more information? Contact [email protected].

Presented by the Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force (NEST) and Accelerate Climate Solutions.

  • Any high school student can participate (including homeschool, as long as you are currently taking high school courses)
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
  • You are required to attend a minimum of 2 meetings with your mentor
  • You must attend a mandatory orientation event in September 2023 for Cohort 1 and January 2024 for Cohort 2
  • Mini-pitch: Cohort 1 – December 2023; Cohort 2 – April 2024 
  • Final BLAST pitch at City Council Chambers in April 2024

Interested, but not quite ready to apply or want to learn more? Click the button below.

Ready to apply? Click the button below.

Help fund BLAST

More info for students and teachers

Presented by