Nick Cion Wins $5,000 Staples Spectacular Student Challenge

The senior defender was part of a 5-man team that bested 9 others, to win Staples’ 1st-ever Spectacular Student Challenge.

Sophomore Matt Silver was part of the 3rd-place team.  They won $1,000.

The 10 groups spent 12 hours on a Saturday — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — last month solving an intricate, 10-page question asking how Westport could become a greener community. The 3 options:

  • Growing or sourcing food locally
  • Initiating household strategies to reduce environmental impacts
  • Implementing photovoltaic systems at Staples and Bedford to generate electric power.

This was not a true-false test.

Nick Cion

Teams researched information online; analyzed facts and figures; synthesized alternatives and combinations; decided on solutions; wrote up their findings in a complex paper — and then waited for Step 2.

Nick’s group — which also included Annie Harnick, Lexa Koenig, Kat Krieger and Lena Ziskin — made it through the 1st round of judging, to the finals.  That consisted of a public presentation, before a blue-ribbon panel — and more judging.

The winners share $5,000.  They do not have to implement their suggestions — though Nick has already enthusiastically adopted 1 of them.  If every Westporter peed in the shower once a day, his team figured out, the town will save 11 million gallons of water a year.

Click here to read the entire story on “06880.”

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