Missouri: Leaders in the Solar Revolution

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Missouri is taking the alternative energy revolution head on, thanks to the creative energy of students at Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla and comparatively tiny Crowder College in Neosho, Missouri. In 2000, students and teachers from both Missouri institutions began building their first solar homes to compete in the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.  The homes were completed on-site in 2002 and transported in sections to the Solar Village on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

And while neither school came home with the whole enchilada, they didn’t come leave empty-handed, either.  MO S&T came home with the refrigeration efficiency award for appliances; demonstrating that “adequate cold storage for food can be provided in homes with minimal energy use.”(one of solar energy’s most criticized drawbacks) while the Crowder College team walked away with 1st place finishes in energy balance, home business and lighting, as well as the highly esteemed People’s Choice award.

That early competition included 14 college and university teams that were challenged to design and build energy-efficient, solar-powered homes to be judged on a wide variety of criteria including livability, comfort and energy balance among other architectural and engineering factors.  And since then, these two Missouri schools have gone on to earn the right to compete in subsequent Solar Decathlons, which included some of the most prestigious and internationally recognized universities and colleges in the world.

The Solar Decathlon has produced 72 solar homes – all of which continue their “mission of education and efficiency” all across the world.  The Missouri homes continue to serve as real-life classrooms and housing at their respective schools.  The MO S&T homes are located in the Solar Village on West 10th Street in Rolla, while the Crowder College homes are located on their Energizing Campus at 601 Laclede Avenue in Neosho, MO.

You can read more about the ongoing work and challenges of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and Crowder College solar teams by clicking these links. The Solar Decathlon is an ongoing project sponsored by the US Dept. of Energy.

Source for the image of the Crowder College Home  
Source for the image of the UM S&T Home

© 2010 Jill Henderson


THPOKH-214x32115.jpgThe Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs

The Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs is a no-nonsense guide jam-packed with no-nonsense information on growing, harvesting and using 35 of the world’s safest and most flavorful herbs. In addition to the 35 detailed herbal monographs are entire chapters on growing, harvesting and using kitchen herbs to spice up your favorite dish or create healing herbal remedies. This is one book you will turn to time and time again!

Available in the Show Me Oz Bookstore


Jill Henderson is an artist, author, and the editor of Show Me Oz . Her books, The Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs, The Garden Seed Saving Guide and A Journey of Seasons can be found in the Show Me Oz Bookstore.  Jill’s work has also appeared in The Permaculture Activist, The Essential Herbal, Acres USA, and Llewellyn’s Herbal Almanac.


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