The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education have announced the launch of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, now kicking off its 2012 edition. Students team up with classmates under teacher/mentors to solve environmental problems in their school (grades K-5), community (grades 6-8) and world (grades 9-12).
Now entering its fourth year, the challenge is a collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board. Students at all levels use scientific investigation and web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education to create a replicable green solution.
Nearly 18,000 elementary, middle and high school students competed in last year's challenge, offering innovations in areas such as food-waste-to-energy, community-scale battery recycling, phantom-power load reduction, systematic behavior change, erosion control, wildlife habitat restoration and sustainable agriculture for arid zones.
To join this educational initiative toward improving the planet's outlook, teachers and mentors can register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, add their student teams and begin formulating their projects at www.wecanchange.com.
Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level and value more than $250,000 total, include scholarships, savings bonds, school grants, adventure trips and a chance to present their idea at the United Nations. A panel of environmental experts and science educators will judge teams based on their research, analysis and the ability of the solution to be replicated on a larger scale. High school students are specifically challenged to address: energy, biodiversity, land management, water conservation and cleanup, or air and climate.
The www.wecanchange.com site will help teams get started, offering a robust resource section that includes lesson plans, ebooks, virtual labs and more to accompany each stage of the challenge. These materials are created by Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications that provides scientifically proven standards-based digital content and resources to classrooms nationwide.
The deadline for all entries is March 15, 2012. Finalists will be announced in April 2012 and the national winners will be announced in May 2012. For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, visit www.wecanchange.com or www.facebook.com/wecanchange.
Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com