NEW YORK (Aug. 12, 2009) – The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) are partnering again this year to educate, empower and engage students and teachers nationwide to become "Agents of Change" in improving their communities through the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge.  The second year of this national sustainability challenge – now expanded to include elementary school students – encourages students in kindergarten through eighth grade to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K-2), school (grades 3-5) and community (grades 6-8). 


Year two of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is kicking off in connection with today’s United Nations International Youth Day in New York City.  The grand prize winning team from the inaugural year of the challenge, Team Dead Weight from West Branch, Iowa, is presenting their project to an audience of peers, UN representatives and media as part of the day’s theme, "Sustainability: Our Challenge.  Our Future."  Team Dead Weight’s winning project focused on the environmental hazards of lead wheel weights in tires.


"The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is a unique sustainability challenge that aims to inspire the next generation stewards of our planet," said Thomas McCausland, Chairman of the Board, Siemens Foundation.  "The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and NSTA share a passion for nurturing the innovation of today’s young people by providing resources to teachers to help motivate students to develop green solutions to everyday issues in their classrooms, schools and communities."


Teachers, students and mentors can log on to www.wecanchange.com now to register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which officially opens for entries on August 19, 2009.  Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips, TV appearances, and much more.  Fostering learning, team work and problem solving around sustainability, the Web site offers robust resource guides for standards-based 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, the largest science teacher organization in the world dedicated to improving science education and increasing student learning by engaging all teachers of science.


The deadline for elementary level entries is January 31, 2010 (finalists and winners announced in March 2010); and the deadline for middle school entries is March 15, 2010 (state winners announced in April 2010 and national winners announced in May 2010).  


The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will expand to high school students in fall 2010.  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 math in the United States.  Its signature programs, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, reward exceptional achievement in science, math and technology.  The newest program, The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues.  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 in the U.S.  For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.


About Discovery Education

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education.  Powered by the number one nonfiction 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 all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services.  Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.


About the National Science Teachers Association

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. For more information, please visit www.nsta.org


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