Honeywells Arena of the Future event showcases young talent

Honeywell's Arena of the Future event showcases young talent

 May 08, 2024

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As a leader in innovation, Honeywell drives efforts to introduce science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to students.

As such, Honeywell partnered with the professional National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball team, Charlotte Hornets, and Digi-Bridge, a federally recognized nonprofit, working at the nexus of technology and education, to bring together six teams across 14 middle schools in the United States, in a pitch competition focusing on Spectrum Center upgrades with a focus on sustainability.

Arena of the Future, presented by Honeywell, is an event that sees students pitch ideas on advancing the technology and sustainability of the arena. These young innovators are helping shape the future of Charlotte, United States, one idea at a time.

Students helping shape the future

The students pitched their ideas for a sustainability or technology project for the Arena of the Future. It was a six-week journey for the students, who didn't know one another when entering the event, and amounted in a celebration of their ideas on the final day. The students came up with inspiring and creative ideas, that were thought-provoking, with their presentations being on the environment, sustainability and efficiency.

"We refer to our employees as Futureshapers, and that's exactly how we look at these projects," said Honeywell Head of Global Partnerships, Kristen Picard. "These kids are really helping us shape the future of how we look at life in Charlotte. And I think part of that is this area of renovation."

The winning team's project, Stage Hydra, utilized water pistons and automation to move seats and stages with less energy and staff.

"Congratulations to all the participants for working together on shaping the future of arenas," said Honeywell.

Designing a sustainable sports arena

Honeywell and the Atlanta Hawks celebrated students participating in their inaugural Arena of the Future Innovation Challenge at State Farm Arena. The inaugural challenge offered the opportunity for students to imagine and design an automated and sustainable sports arena.

Committed to entertaining and uniting the city of Atlanta since 1968, the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena continues to build bridges through basketball by following its True to Atlanta mantra. Off the court, the Hawks organization focuses on positively impacting the lives of Atlantans through providing access to youth basketball, fighting food insecurity, and the recent transformation of State Farm Arena into Georgia’s largest-ever voting precinct for the 2020 elections.

The eight-week Arena of the Future Innovation Challenge brought together nearly 30 high school students from Atlanta schools to conceptualize a blueprint for a next-generation arena with building automation and sustainability components as the cornerstones. Participating students were encouraged to include water conservation, energy generating solutions and technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence in their designs.

Each student team was guided by mentors from Honeywell as they brainstormed concepts to help improve building automation and sustainability efforts at State Farm Arena. The Arena of the Future Innovation Challenge concluded with Honeywell and the Hawks hosting the capstone event at State Farm Arena, where each team pitched their design to industry judges from the Hawks and Honeywell.

Forward-thinking solutions from the next generation of leaders

The top three winning teams’ schools were awarded by Honeywell a total of $10,000 in prizes, with the first-place team’s school winning $7,500, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place. The first place award went to Stepping to Sustainability by B.E.S.T. Academy. The team’s idea involved converting foot traffic, specifically around the entrances, into energy to power the arena. The second place was awarded to Project Hawks by Frederick Douglass High School, and the third to Project Safety and Security by Frederick Douglass High School.

“I am inspired by the creativity and dedication of the students participating in the Arena of the Future Challenge,” said Honeywell President and Chief Executive Officer, Building Automation business segment, Billal Hammoud. "Their forward-thinking solutions are a testament to the power of community and education in shaping a greener, more sustainable future. Supporting our next generation of leaders is essential to ensuring a future that is fueled by innovation and collaboration."

Community engagement program offering STEM education

Honeywell became the Official Sustainable Building Technology Partner for the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena. The Stadium of the Future Innovation Challenge is one component of the community engagement program in development and collaboration with the Atlanta Hawks. As part of this multi-year deal, Honeywell will implement a series of high-tech upgrades to State Farm Arena's building operations systems to help decrease energy consumption and emissions while increasing visibility and control of the indoor environment. As part of the initiative, Honeywell will also collaborate with the Atlanta Hawks to develop a community engagement program that offers STEM and Sustainability Education to metro Atlanta schools.

Join Honeywell and inspire change for communities across the world

Honeywell is committed to solving social and environmental challenges and making impactful changes in its communities where its colleagues live and work.

From solving global challenges to supporting local communities, every Honeywell Futureshaper on the team helps make it happen.

Discover the latest career vacancies available with Honeywell.


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