Movie Night with Root Beer Floats At Solar Decathlon 2013

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Originally published on 1Sun4All.

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

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

movie night

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 Friday night. | Photo credit: Carol Anna | U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The teams hosted decathletes from neighboring houses to watch the James Bond thriller Skyfall on October 4. 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.

Tyler Scott Zalmanzig, a University of Southern California decathlete who helped plan and host his team’s movie night:

We wanted our movie night to be social and informative—more of a meet and greet. 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. Tyler said:

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

movie night

Christian Iusso of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, left, prepares a meal for student dinner guests during the Dinner Party portion of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 competition at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. on October 5, 2013. | Photo credit: Eric Grigorian | U.S. Department of Energy

On October 5, teams hosted dinner parties for their neighbors. Follow the scoring of the Home Entertainment Contest, including movie night and the October 5 dinner parties, on the Solar Decathlon website.

The Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO are both taking place in Irvine, California through Sunday, October 13.

It’s FREE! Public hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:

  • Thursday, October 10 – Sunday, October 13, 2013


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Amber Archangel

-- I am an artist, painter, writer, interior designer, graphic designer, and constant student of many studies. Living with respect for the environment close at hand, the food chain, natural remedies for healing the earth, people and animals is a life-long expression and commitment. As half of a home-building team, I helped design and build harmonious, sustainable and net-zero homes that incorporate clean air systems, passive and active solar energy as well as rainwater collection systems. Private aviation stirs a special appeal, I would love to fly in the solar airplane and install a wind turbine in my yard. I am a peace-loving, courageous soul, and I am passionate about contributing to the clean energy revolution. I formerly designed and managed a clean energy website,

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