The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) today named the 25 middle school state finalists of the second annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The national Challenge encourages students to team up and develop plans to initiate environmental change in their local communities. From these 25 state finalist teams, two national winning teams and one grand prize-winning team will be chosen and announced on May 24, 2010. A complete list of the state finalists can be found at www.wecanchange.com .
Over 6,500 middle school students competed in this year’s Challenge, and the projects ranged from reducing algae blooms to saving local trees to encouraging eco-friendly gardens. A panel of environmental advocates and science educators selected finalists based on the project’s ability to creatively engage their communities to resolve a local environmental issue.
“These 25 teams have shown that they can truly impact their communities and drive positive environmental change,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. “The Siemens Foundation and its partners are proud to honor the students and their mentors for their innovation and dedication in helping to usher in a new era of sustainability.”
The state finalists have already won a Siemens We Can Change the World Challengegreen prize pack and the grand prize-winning team will receive 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.
Over 15,000 students have participated in the Challenge since it began in 2008. Last year’s grand prize winner, Team “Dead Weight” from West Branch, Iowa, exposed the dangers of lead wheel weights in vehicles and helped phase out this hazardous material in the tire industry. As the Challenge winners, they had the opportunity to present their project at the United Nations International Youth Day and meet with leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
To enter the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, teams of two to four students in sixth through eighth grade, under the guidance of a teacher or mentor, 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.
For more information on the Challenge and the state finalists, visit www.wecanchange.com