National Middle School Sustainability Challenge Launches Today!

We Can Save The World

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Empowers Students to Create “Green Solution”

Middle School Launch Marks the First Phase of Nationwide K-12 Sustainability Initiative

Prizes include Regional and National Recognition, Cash and an Appearance on Discovery’s Planet Green Television Network–

(NEW YORK) – Starting today, middle school students across the United States are being encouraged to “go green” and team up for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, the first and only national

K-12 sustainability education initiative aligned to education standards and uniquely tailored to match students’ growing comprehension abilities throughout their school-aged years.

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have partnered on this unprecedented initiative to educate, empower and engage students, teachers and communities to become “Agents of Change” in improving their community. Student teams from sixth through eighth grade, under the mentorship of a teacher or adult supervisor, can register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge at www.wecanchange.com.

Teams of two to three students will 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. The mentors of the first 100 teams to register and complete a project for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will receive an award-winning Planet Earth series DVD set.  Submissions from middle school students will be accepted through March 15, 2009. The initiative expands to elementary schools in 2009 and to high schools in 2010.

“The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will inspire students across the nation to clearly see the impact science can make in their very own schools and communities,” said James Whaley, President, Siemens Foundation. “It will support the next generation of scientists and engineers and encourage students to use their natural curiosity to produce results that have a real impact in the world. We are proud to partner with Discovery Communications and NSTA on this unprecedented initiative.”

A total of 51 teams representing each state and the District of Columbia will be selected as state finalists and an additional 50 teams will be eligible for honorable mention awards.  Three of the state finalist teams will be selected as national finalists, and one of those will be named the grand prize-winner. State finalist and national finalist teams will be announced in Spring 2009.

All student teams entering the Middle School Challenge will receive prizes for their participation; top-performing teams, as judged by a panel of environmental experts and science educators, will earn cash, teacher education materials 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.

Hosted on a solar-powered server, the web-based Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will serve as an essential resource for both students and team advisors. Teams can take part in virtual interactive labs, share ideas through an online journal, watch Discovery Education video clips, take an environmental IQ quiz, and much more! Rich environmental lesson plans are also available for teachers to use in their classrooms. More information, including entry details, registration and Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at www.wecanchange.com.

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