— Team “No1Idling” From Michigan Takes Middle School Top Honor —
— California’s Team “Planet Blue and Green” and Illinois’ Team “Zero Waste Lunch Experts” Are Elementary School Winners–
(Iselin, N.J.) The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) today announced the grand prize winners of this year’s Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The national Challenge encourages elementary and middle school students to develop plans to initiate environmental change in their schools and communities.
“The Siemens Foundation and its partners congratulate the winning elementary and middle school teams of this year’s Challenge and commend all the mentors for engaging and empowering students to become agents of change,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see that our young generation is already so dedicated to the environment. Their outstanding projects promoting sustainability in their classrooms, schools and communities are powerful examples of how we can all find ways to improve the world around us by observing our surroundings.”
Over 13,000 students competed in this year’s Challenge across elementary and middle school grades. Elementary classrooms, under the mentorship of their teacher, identified an environmental issue in their classroom or school, while middle school students worked in teams of 2-4 students, also under the guidance of a mentor, to identify an environmental issue in their community. Both levels then researched their issue using scientific investigation and created a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.
Projects ranged from reducing lunchtime waste to saving local trees and encouraging eco-friendly gardens. A panel of environmental advocates and science educators selected winners based on the team’s ability to create a positive, measurable solution to a local environmental problem and how well it can be replicated by other communities.
Middle School Winners
- Grand Prize Winners: Team “No1Idling” from Novi, MI
Novi Middle School students Raj Raina and Yash Sathe, along with mentor Abhinav Raina, focused on reducing community pollution by raising awareness about the environmental impact of vehicle idling among area drivers.
- Second Place Winners: Team “Drug Disposal Informants” from West Branch, IA
West Branch Middle School students Kara Fountain, Allison Kusick, Gabby Salemink, and Megan Tadlock, along with mentor Hector Ibarra, focused on reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals polluting local water by encouraging the proper disposal of medications.
- Third Place Winners: Team “Lex Green Clean” from Lexington, MA
Jonas Clarke Middle School students Rani Iyer and Isha Laad along with mentor Vidhya Iyer, encouraged their community to adopt a more eco-friendly alternative to dry cleaning called wet cleaning to reduce the use of toxic chemicals.
Elementary School Winners Grades 3-5
- Grand Prize Winners: Team “Planet Blue and Green” from Watsonville, CA
Mount Madonna School’s fifth grade class and their teacher, Jessica Cambell, limited the consumption of non-biodegradable materials as a means to reduce marine debris.
- Second Place Winners: Team “Joberts5” from Bloomfield Township, MI
Birmingham Covington School’s fifth grade class and their teacher, Pauline Roberts, focused on reducing the amount of trash generated during school lunch.
- Third Place Winners: Team “Green Allowance” from Glendale, CA
Mark Keppel Elementary School’s fifth grade class and their teacher April Faieta, taught other students how to save as much energy and water as possible by using an interactive Web site.
Elementary School Winners Grades K-2
- Grand Prize Winners: Team “Zero Waste Lunch Experts” from Addison, IL
St. Philip the Apostle School’s second grade class and their teacher, Amanda Wallace, focused on reducing the amount of waste created each day during school lunches.
- Second Place Winners: Team “Hunter EcoHeroes” from Raleigh, NC
Representatives from Hunter Elementary School’s kindergarten, first and second grade classes and their teacher, Smith Raynor, helped reduce waste in the cafeteria and make recycling a habit in their school.
- Third Place Winners: Team “LAA2” from Lakeland, FL
Lincoln Avenue Academy’s second grade class and their teacher, Mijana Lockard, decreased the amount of water waste created by students at their school.
The middle school grand prize winners will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes a $10,000 Savings Bond, an appearance on Planet Green-the 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network, a chance to present their program at the United Nations and a Discovery Adventure trip to Yellowstone National Park. The elementary school grand prize winning classrooms will receive an on-site video shoot of the class that will be turned into a commercial to run on one of Discovery’s networks, a $5,000 grant for their school and an opportunity to be featured on a jumbotron in Times Square in New York City. In addition to the above, each team’s advisor will receive free registration and hotel accommodations at an upcoming NSTA national or area conference, a one-year membership to NSTA and a 12-month subscription to Discovery Education Science, the digital content library designed to engage today’s technology-savvy students in science education. Prizing details for second and third place winners can be found here:
- Middle School: http://wecanchange.com/middle-school/about-challenge/prizes/
- Elementary School: http://wecanchange.com/elementary-school/about-challenge/prizes/
The Challenge expands to high schools in Fall 2010. Currently teams can register and start tackling a global energy-related issue and starting on August 17, 2010, teams can enter their progress and complete their online applications. For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, go to www.wecanchange.com.
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. In February 2010 the Siemens Foundation launched its newest initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy, a national STEM education program for teachers designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in these fields. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About the National Science Teachers Association
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. For more information, please visit www.nsta.org.