Nation’s Premier Sustainability Student Challenge Empowers Young People to Create Solutions to Today’s Environmental Problems
Iselin, N.J. (May 2, 2011) – The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the College Board today 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.
“We’re excited about the growing enthusiasm for environmental action within our schools, local communities and the world,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. “The Siemens Foundation and its partners are proud to honor these students and their mentors for their efforts to initiate real environmental change.”
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.
About Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge
The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge (www.wecanchange.com) is a premier national sustainability challenge that empowers students in grades K-12to develop and share environmental solutions that can help change the world. The Challenge is a collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the College Board and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to educate, empower and engage elementary, middle and high school students and teachers to become “Agents of Change” in improving their schools, communities and world. To date, more than 17,500 students have participated, creatively engaging their communities to find solutions to a local environmental issue or global energy challenge. All participants research their issue using scientific investigation and create a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com.
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. In February 2010 the Siemens Foundation launched its newest initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy, a national STEM education program for teachers designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in these fields. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISAD, DISBD, DISCK) revolutionized television with the Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one non-fiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at Discovery Education.
• Lauren Espin, Siemens Foundation, 732-590-2182, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Christina Scripps, Discovery Education, 240-662-6502, email@example.com
• Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-839-9800, firstname.lastname@example.org