NSTA Names Grand Prize Winner in Sustainability Challenge

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The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Discovery, and the Siemens Foundation have announced the grand prize winner in the "Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge." The initiative called on K-12 students to develop green solutions for their schools, homes, and communities.

The competition challenged middle school students to identify, explore, and research an environmental issue in their community and come up with recommendations for addressing the issue. For the challenge, the students worked in teams and competed with other students across the United States. More than 2,000 students participated in the inaugural challenge.

The grand prize winner was the team from West Branch Middle School in Iowa for exploring "the dangers of lead wheel weights in vehicles." Individual team members included students Jathan Kron (12), Justin Roth (13), Brennan Nelson (12) and teacher Hector Ibarra.

The second-place national winner was the team from St. Philip the Apostle School in Illinois, which launched a school recycling program and "recruited non-recycling households in their community to start recycling." Team members included students Angel Lozzio (13), Maggie O'Brien (12), and Dana Gattone (13) and advisor Dawn O'Brien.

And the third-place national team came from Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies in North Carolina, which "created an artificial oyster reef to restore the oyster population of Pamlico Sound." Team members included students Evan Haas (14), Ashley Hodges (14), and Kailee Pieno (14) and teacher Tracy Shisler.

Grand prize team members won a $5,000 savings bond, an appearance on Discovery's appearance on Planet Green channel, a Discovery Adventure Trip, and various other prizes. Second-place team members received a $5,000 savings bond, a Discovery Adventure Trip, and other prizes. ANd the third-place team won a $5,000 savings bond, a flip camera, and other prizes. Mentors received additional prizes, including ravel, registration, and/or accommodations for an upcoming NSTA conference. (Complete prize details can be found here.)

The challenge will expand to the elementary and kindergarten levels later in 2009 and to high schools in 2010. Further information can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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