The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board have named the 24 middle school and 24 high school state finalists in the third annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. The national Challenge aims to educate, empower and engage students and teachers to become "Agents of Change" in improving their communities and world.
More than 625 middle and high school teams comprised of 4,069 students competed in the 2011 Challenge. This year's Challenge includes a first-ever high school division, in which over 1,200 students competed. Projects addressed a wide variety of topics, ranging from decreasing cafeteria waste to creating programs to clean up polluted community lakes and rivers. High school entrants were specifically challenged with identifying an energy-related issue that has local, national and global implications, and then creating a sustainable solution that can be replicated around the globe.
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 or global energy dilemma. From the 48 state finalist teams, two national winning teams and one grand prize-winning team will be chosen in both the middle school and high school categories and announced on May 18, 2011. A complete list of the state finalists can be found at www.wecanchange.com.
The middle and high school state finalists have already won a Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge green prize pack. Each member of the middle school grand prize-winning team will receive a $10,000 Savings Bond, a Discovery Adventures trip to Costa Rica and a pocket video camera to capture their trip. The high school grand prize-winning team will receive an equal share of a $50,000 scholarship and a chance to present their project at the United Nations.
Over 17,500 students have participated in the Challenge since its inaugural year in 2008. Last year's middle school grand prize winner, Team "No1Idling" from Novi, MI, raised awareness of the negative financial and environmental effects amongst parents idling their engines while waiting to pick up their kids from school. As the Challenge winners, they had the opportunity to take part in the White House Science Fair in October.
For more information on the Challenge and the state finalists, visit www.wecanchange.com.
Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com