The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announce today the national winning teams in the first-ever Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge:
Grand Prize Winners: Team "Dead Weight" from West Branch, Iowa
- West Branch Middle School Students Jathan Kron (age 12), Justin Roth (age 13) and Brennan Nelson (age 12), along with their teacher, Hector Ibarra, raised awareness about the dangers of lead wheel weights in vehicles to help phase out this hazardous material in the tire industry.
Second Place Winners: Team "Recycle Because You Care" from Addison, Ill.
- St. Philip the Apostle School students Angel Lozzio (age 13), Maggie O'Brien (age 12) and Dana Gattone (age 13), along with their team advisor, Dawn O'Brien, recruited non-recycling households in their community to start recycling, and launched a school-wide recycling program.
Third Place Winners: Team "Stewards of the Pamlico Sound" from Buxton, N.C.
- Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies students Evan Haas (age 14), Ashley Hodges (age 14) and Kailee Pieno (age 14), along with their teacher, Tracy Shisler, created an artificial oyster reef to restore the oyster population of Pamlico Sound.
"These winning teams have implemented truly remarkable environmental change in their communities," said James Whaley, President, Siemens Foundation. "The Siemens Foundation and its partners, Discovery Education and NSTA, remain committed to the future and to those who will create it."
"It's inspiring to witness tomorrow's leaders embrace sustainability, while actively engaging their community to make a real difference in the world around them through the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge," said Bill Goodwyn, President, Discovery Education.
"We commend the winning teams and their teachers for their creativity, resourcefulness and commitment to promoting sustainability in their communities," said Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA. "As a result of their hard work, and with the support from the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, we are empowering today's students to become responsible stewards of the environment in the years to come."
The grand prize-winning team, "Dead Weight," will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes an appearance on Planet Green, Discovery's 24-hour eco-lifestyle network, a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery Adventure Trip accompanied by a Discovery TV personality, a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a chance to present their project before a panel of environmental experts, a flip camera, and a Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge eco-friendly prize pack of school supplies. In addition to the above, the 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 with science.
Information about second and third place prizing can be found at http://wecanchange.com/about-challenge/prizes.
About the Challenge
More than 2,000 students participated in the inaugural year of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which asked teams of two to three students in sixth through eighth grade, under the mentorship of a teacher or adult supervisor, to identify an environmental issue in their community, research the issue using scientific investigation, and create a replicable green solution using Web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. A panel of environmental experts and science educators then reviewed and selected the top projects.
The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and NSTA have partnered on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge to educate, empower and engage students, teachers and communities to become "Agents of Change" in improving their communities nationwide. The initiative will expand to elementary schools in 2009 and to high schools in 2010.