Virginia Student Wins National Contest for Energy-Saving Invention

Virginia Student Wins National Contest for Energy-Saving Invention

Congratulations to Justin Heaton, 6th grade student at Damascus Middle School in Washington County, for winning the Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge in the Middle School Division! Since 2002, Johnson Controls and the National Energy Foundation have sponsored the ICE contest which challenges students to submit their unique solutions to improve energy and water conservation and the environment.

Inspired by a visit to the Hoover Dam last summer, Justin wondered how he could use the water in his community to create enough energy to power his home. The result was a design of a Micro Power plant, which uses water pressure to generate electricity. According to Justin, his parents told him to “figure out if power could be generated in this way, and I DID!”

Justin’s video of his Micro Power plant earned him the National Grand Prize for the 6-8th grade divisions which included: an Apple gift card and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for him and his family to present his project. 

To learn more about Justin’s project, click the video below. For more information on the contest, visit

Way to “Value Your Power” Justin!