Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge Kicks Off at United Nations International Youth Day


Jathan Kron, Brennan Nelson and Justin Roth (left to right) of Team Dead Weight. Credit Discovery Communications

The United Nations Headquarters in New York City was host to a couple-hundred youth on August 12. All were gathered for this year's International Youth Day and to kick off the second year of The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a nationwide educational-sustainability challenge for grades K-8, along with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and Discovery Education.

Find Out More About the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge!
Team Dead Weight presents their winning project along with Tom McCausland, Siemens Foundation; Jean-Pierre Gonnot, United Nations Programme on Youth; Jonathan Hiles, United Nations Environment Programme, and Bill Goodwyn, Discovery Education (left to right). Credit Discovery Communications

This year's International Youth Day theme; "Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future." calls for action from young people to address environmental issues and sustainability. The day provided local youth the opportunity to hear from the challenge's inaugural year winners; Team Dead Weight (pictured above), whose project exposed the environmental hazards of lead wheel weights in tires. The team travelled from West Branch, Iowa to attend and to present in front of peers, UN representatives and media.


Siemens We Can Be the Change Video. Via PR Newswire

The day's theme fit nicely with the challenge, which urges students to act as "Agents of Change" within their communities, and "aims to inspire the next generation stewards of our planet," according to Thomas McCausland, Chairman of the Siemens Foundation. The foundation provides over $7 million in annual funds for educational inititatives in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge: Call for Entries

Students team up with classmates to address sustainability and environmental issues in their classroom, school, and community, for the competition. A joint effort between Discovery Education, NSTA, and Siemens; the sustainability challenge educates students by providing resource guides, lesson plans, and teaching materials. The challenge has grown since its inaugural year, and encourages participation from students grades K-8, and will include high school-level students by fall 2010.

The call for entries officially opens on Wednesday, August 19, 2009, visit We Can Change for details, deadlines, to register, and to learn more.

More on Education
The Greenhouse Project Transforms NYC School's Vacant Rooftop
7 Out of 10 College Bound Students, Prefer Green Universities
Karaoke: From Cheesy Entertainment to Environmental Education Tool

Tags: Education | New York City | United Nations

Best of TreeHugger