Siemens, Discovery and the NSTA Announce Student Finalists in We Can Change the World Challenge


Image Credit: Siemens Foundation

In a bid to inspire middle school students around the country to get involved in the green movement, the National Science Teachers Association, Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education recently created the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge to reward those who do so in amazing ways. And now the finalist teams of two to three students in sixth through eighth grade that identified an eco-issue in their own communities that needed tackling and did so in a way that could be replicated across the country have been announced. And it turns out they came up with some terrific ideas that you just may be able to use to make your town a greener place to live.

Consider "Team Truffala Seeds", who took on the goal of finding a low cost and efficient way to clean up brown fields in the state of Indiana The team did extensive research on how to clean up these vacant sites that are thought to be contaminated, such as abandoned gas stations, manufacturing plants and agricultural land that has high levels of pesticides. They decided to do a phytoremediation experiment using several types of native grasses, and they discovered that phytoremediation done with annual rye plants removed toxins more effectively.

Or how about "Team Water Wizards" at Guajome Park Academy in Vista, California who set out to raise awareness in their community about water conservation. The team started a campaign via YouTube and the creation of bumper stickers to challenge other 6th graders to conserve water by taking shorter showers each day for an entire week, and collected pledges to fundraise for a charity in Africa called Play Pumps International, which is a non profit that gives Africans a source for clean water. Over 50 students participated, they raised over $900, and they continue to spread the word about water conservation and how people can help.

Next year Siemens and Discovery expect the We Can Change the World Challenge to be extended to elementary schools, and to high schools as well in 2010. Something worth looking forward if you've got a bright idea as students won a host of eco-themed prizes for being state level finalists, and the national finalists, to be announced May 18th, will win an appearance on Planet Green and a trip of a lifetime accompanied by a Discovery TV personality.

Via: Siemens Foundation
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Tags: Education | Green Youth | Planet Green | United States

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