Students at Ball State University received an EPA “P3” grant to use straw bales to demonstrate the effectiveness of green-building techniques. Photo: U.S. EPA

The U.S. EPA has awarded $420,000 in grants to 42 student teams to research and develop sustainable environmental solutions.

The People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) grant program was founded in 2004 to encourage college students to apply the principles of sustainable design to various environmental challenges.

Students at Southern Illinois University, for example, will use their award to develop green roofs that improve stormwater management, increase energy conservation, and reduce urban heat island effect. A team from the University of Tennessee will conduct biohydrogen experiments to determine if one-celled plants can generate enough energy to produce transportation fuel for a 100,000-resident city.

P3 also runs the annual National Sustainable Design Expo, April 25–26, 2007, which features green-building products, alternative energy technologies, stormwater collection techniques, and other environmentally friendly methods and products. Visit