The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have announced the kick-off of the third annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a program that educates, empowers, and engages students and teachers nationwide to become "Agents of Change" in identifying and solving environmental problems. The third year of this national sustainability challenge-now expanded to include high school students-encourages all students, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their schools (grades K-5), community (grades 6-8) and world (grades 9-12).
After expanding last year to elementary school students, this year's Challenge is turning to the nation's high school students to identify and address environmental issues that they see as problems in the world. In keeping with the Challenge's overall mission to build a more sustainable world, high school students will be specifically encouraged to focus on energy-related issues using scientific investigation, and create a replicable solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.
Over 13,000 students competed in the 2010 Challenge across elementary and middle school grades. Projects ranged from reducing lunchtime waste to saving local trees and encouraging eco-friendly gardens. The grand prize team, "No1Idling" from Novi, MI, focused on reducing community pollution by raising awareness about the environmental impact of vehicle idling among area drivers.
Teachers, students, and mentors can log on to www.wecanchange.com now to register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips and more. The website offers resource guides, lesson plans, and teacher materials to accompany each stage of the challenge. These materials are created by Discovery Education, the division of Discovery Communications providing scientifically proven, standards-based digital content and resources to classrooms nationwide, and the NSTA, a science teacher organization dedicated to improving science education and increasing student learning by engaging all teachers of science. A panel of environmental experts, science educators, and the College Board (high school) will judge teams on both their ability to create a positive, measurable solution to a local sustainability issue or challenge using scientific methodology and their ability to explain how the solution can be replicated by other communities
The deadline for all entries is March 15, 2011. Finalists and winners will be announced in April 2011 and the national winners will be announced in May 2011. For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com or www.facebook.com/wecanchange.
Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com