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Congratulations WHS senior Joe Herrera, winner of the 2022 CASNR Change Maker Competition! Herrera will receive free tuition at UNL, and will work with mentors to turn his new energy idea into a reality.

Joe Herrera named winner of 2022 CASNR 'Change Maker' Competition!

WHS senior pitches new energy idea; awarded free UNL tuition and opportunity to work with professionals to fully develop concept

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

For the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), that’s not a rhetorical question. Instead, it was the literal challenge for the 2022 Change Maker competition, sponsored by the CASNR, part of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

The competition provides students with the chance to share what they will tackle in order to leave their mark on the world and make it a better place.

Applicants are required to address one of the following grand challenges of the world: Feeding the World, New Energy, Biodiversity/sustainability/environment, Engaging Diverse Communities, Water for the Future, Climate and the Future, Health, and Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders.

Once a grand challenge is chosen, students are required to create a two-minute video to pitch their ideas. Winners of the competition receive free tuition at UNL, and the opportunity to work directly with mentors to make the proposed idea a reality.

One Wahoo student is among this year’s group of winners!

WHS senior Joe Herrera pitched an idea for new energy, and it paid off! Addressing the global challenge of biodiversity/sustainability/environment, Herrera developed a wind energy generator to be mounted to the top of an electric car. He explains the idea in his two-minute video submission:

(permission to post video granted by the CASNR)

This concept, which wisely utilizes an unlimited free resource (wind), will now follow Herrera into his tuition-free freshman year at UNL, where he will work with professionals on the goal of taking his big idea all the way to production.

"Joe deserves this recognition," commented WHS Industrial Arts Teacher Kyle Weyers. "He is really creative and sometimes that doesn't show in the traditional classroom. It's great that UNL is thinking outside the box on some of these scholarships."

So, years from now when you no longer have to spend big bucks on gas, and you’re driving an electric car with a drum and rubber paddles spinning on top, enjoying the ability to travel great distances without stopping to recharge, you will have a Wahoo alum to thank for it. 

Congratulations Joe on this impressive accomplishment!

Joe Herrera named winner of 2022 CASNR 'Change Maker' Competition!

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