I’ve officially started my last semester at USC (ah! that sounds a little scary…), and getting back into the swing of things was difficult. Luckily we have a three day weekend in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. I spent the weekend in Chicago which was freezing compared to LA’s “winter” that I’ve grown accustomed to. Despite the snow and bitter wind, I did manage to venture outside a few times–bundled up like a marshmallow.

winter skyline

During my trip I visited the Museum of Science and Industry, and the nerd in me loved it. In one of the many exhibits at the museum was about emerging and future technologies I spotted this display about Peter Diamandis and the X PRIZE.

Peter Diamandis featured in the "Fast Forward...Inventing the Future" exhibit

Of course it caught my attention because last year I took a special engineering/business class that is part of USC’s X PRIZE Lab (USC is 1 of 3 schools nationwide that has an X PRIZE lab!). During the semester we were given the challenge of framing competition in which entrepreneurs and scientists could win a multimillion-dollar capital grant by demonstrating a new technology. The theme for the semester was water, and our class developed prizes such as providing clean drinking water in rural areas, building earthquake proof levees, cultivating halophytes, and building a semi-permanent deep ocean research submarine. At the end of the semester we had to pitch our X PRIZE models to a panel.

pitching our X PRIZE model to the panel

This month USC is hosting a an X PRIZE Visioneering day to develop prize ideas centered around global health issues. The event sounds amazing and I’m hoping to attend even though I already have a distribution center tour scheduled with my Disney internship. As usual, I have to be in too many places at the same time. Even if I can’t attend the  Visioneering day, I can’t wait to see prize models USC students develop!

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