We Can Change the World finalists announced

22 teams of U.S. middle school students have been named state finalists in the inaugural Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The web-based national competition encouraged middle school students to team up and “go green” by creating and implementing environmental change in their local communities. From the 22 state finalist teams, two national winning teams and one grand prize-winning team will be chosen and announced on May 18, 2009 at www.wecanchange.com, where a complete list of the state finalists can also be found.

“Congratulations to all of the state finalist teams. It’s truly inspiring to see students all over the country taking such an active role in promoting sustainability, starting right at home,” said James Whaley, President, Siemens Foundation. “We are tremendously proud of all the teams who participated. Their innovative ideas and projects bring new awareness and ways for us all to be more eco-friendly in our daily lives.”

Over 2,000 students participated in the inaugural year of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge and state finalist projects covered topics such as e-waste recycling, ecosystem restoration and water conservation.

To enter the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, teams of two to three students in sixth through eighth grade, under the mentorship of a teacher or adult supervisor, were asked 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.

As a state finalist team, each student member will receive an eco-friendly prize pack, which includes a recycled messenger bag, a solar charger, a recycled USB drive, a recycled journal, a reusable water bottle and other sustainable supplies. In addition to the prize pack, the team’s adult advisor will receive a free one-year membership to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and a one-year subscription to Discovery Education Science, the digital resource library designed to deepen understanding of science.

The two national winning teams will earn savings bonds, teacher education resources and unique “Discovery Experience” trips. The grand prize-winning team will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes an appearance on Planet Green, Discovery’s 24-hour eco-lifestyle network and a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery Adventure Trip, accompanied by a Discovery TV personality.

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 expands to elementary schools in 2009 and to high schools in 2010.

For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, go to www.wecanchange.com.