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For Solar Decathletes, Watching a Movie Is All in a Night’s Work

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Solar Decathlon

Everyone enjoys a good movie. But for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 teams, movies are also part of the Home Entertainment Contest, which is designed to demonstrate that the teams’ solar-powered houses can accommodate the pleasures of living. Neighboring decathletes act as jurors by awarding a host team points based on the quality of the food, ambiance, and overall experience.

Photo of two decathletes standing on either side of a television.

University of Southern California student decathletes Tyler Scott Zalmanzig, left, and Stephen Collins flank fluxHome’s home entertainment system. U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 teams hosted movie night for their neighbors in the Solar Decathlon village last night. (Credit: Carol Anna/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Last night, the teams hosted decathletes from neighboring houses to watch the James Bond thriller Skyfall. The University of Southern California hosted decathletes from Vienna Technical University, the University of Texas at El Paso and El Paso Community College, and Czech Technical University.

“We wanted our movie night to be social and informative—more of a meet and greet,” said Tyler Scott Zalmanzig, a University of Southern California decathlete who helped plan and host his team’s movie night. “We shared Solar Decathlon experiences and construction war stories.”

At fluxHome, Tyler and his team members served chocolate-dipped bananas, popcorn, and root beer floats to their guests.

“The Austrian and Czech Republic decathletes loved the root beer floats because they’d never had them before,” Tyler said. “We put ice cream in the glasses and then added root beer. They cheered. It was great!”

Tonight, teams host dinner parties for their neighbors. Follow the scoring of the Home Entertainment Contest, including movie night and tonight’s dinner parties, on the Solar Decathlon website.

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