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Photo of a man speaking in front of a podium at a US Solar Decathlon event.

Solar Decathlon Mentor Program

Program Details

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon® Mentor Program pairs Solar Decathlon alumni with student teams participating in the Design Challenge or Build Challenge. The Mentor Program is intended to enable additional support and guidance for student teams and lower the barrier to entry for first-year teams; however, all teams are welcome to apply for a Mentor. Alumni from the Design Challenge or Build Challenge from any competition year can sign up to mentor a student team.


  • Mentors provide up to 15 hours of support throughout the Design Challenge competition, or up to 40 hours of support throughout the Build Challenge competition.
    • More details about requirements for Design Challenge and Build Challenge Mentors can be found in the Mentor Program Guide.
  • Mentors provide support throughout the competition period to participating teams, which may include technical or nontechnical review and feedback on project direction, deliverables, and presentations.


  • The program will foster growth in leadership skills while helping Solar Decathlon teams achieve success through critical project feedback and advice; this is expected to be particularly beneficial for students with limited experience in the competition.
  • Mentors will be recognized on the official Solar Decathlon website and social media channels and receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Mentors will be invited to participate virtually in the Solar Decathlon Competition Event on April 22–24, 2022, which will include opportunities to network with industry expert jurors, sponsors, and other Solar Decathlon alumni.

“The [Mentor Program] helped me in developing leadership skills and interacting with new people. From being a Student Participant to Mentoring the Student Team, Solar Decathlon has taught me many valuable lessons.” – 2021 Design Challenge Alumni Mentor