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18-year-old Thomas Eades, a student with ADHD and Autism has just been hired by Hypergiant Technologies after he learned Computer Assisted Design (CAD) through a leadership role in an all-school science project this spring.  Eades excelled at using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to help develop a carbon positive model home design during his high school senior year. As a result of his work on the project, Eades achieved CAD certification. He was hired September 27 by Hypergiant Technologies, a new AI company in Austin. He'll spend one day a week in the office and the remaining time remote-building 3D models for Artificial Intelligence used to teach machines.

Another student, 11th grader Evan Bailey, served as one of the lead engineers for the Carbon Positive model. As a result of his participation with C+, Bailey received a scholarship to the summer program for high school students at SMU's Lyle School of Engineering.

The Positive Carbon Model Home was constructed by 100 students with learning disabilities at Dallas Academy in spring of 2019. The home won the Best Overall award at the World’s Largest EarthX 2019 Environmental Exposition at Fair Park in Dallas in April. Students from Dallas Academy, a small private school serving students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, autism, ADHD, and other learning disabilities – also called learning differences – edged out competing public and private high schools across the city for the top award. Students also presented the project at Dallas Academy’s STEM Day, May 9.

The 100-student science project was funded by a Constellation E2 Energy to Educate grant to inspire students to think differently about energy through a semester-long science project. Funding from Constellation Energy and the Moody Foundation supported a small group of seniors in leading the project with science teachers Darren Carollo and Anna Smith. The Dallas Academy Positive Carbon Model Home is fully operational, and includes smart glass windows, ducted HVAC system with thermo electric coolers, solar panels, wind turbines, a green roof, solar tubes, geothermal floors, pump and rain barrel collection, and other systems to ensure the house uses less energy than it generates.

Innovative solutions like using light-weight aluminum structures intended for robotics to frame out the house and bolting the house to a rolling cart allowed the model to be moved around the school so that grade levels from 6-12 could contribute to the home’s construction. “I’m so very proud of our students because they gave everything they had and spent cumulatively thousands of hours from early in the morning to late in the evening,” Mr. Carollo said. “Learning differences are no barrier when they are understood,” he added.

Carollo and Smith believe every school across the world should have a prototype positive carbon model for testing and research to aid in the awareness of reducing energy consumption.

by Patty Bates-Ballard

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