We know teenagers can be loud, but their small actions speak volumes. Committed young students from across the country have demonstrated that they can make an impact and make the world a better place just by learning about the environment and taking steps to make it better for their communities and world. Through the Lexus Eco Challenge, more than 26,000 middle and high school students have earned over $4.5 million for themselves, their teachers, and their schools.
The challenge has opened up again and students are invited to participate for a chance to win part of $500,000 in grants and scholarships. Lexus and Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing, education and media company, have joined together to create the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) educational program.
In its eighth year, the Lexus Eco Challenge is an educational program and contest for teens across the U.S. in grades 6-12 that inspires and empowers young people to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. Teams of students can enter one or both of the first two challenges, which are focused on Land & Water and Air & Climate, respectively. New this year, the challenges will run simultaneously, allowing the teams a wider window to complete their action plans. Winners from each challenge are then invited to go on to participate in the Final Challenge, with a top prize of $30,000 for both the winning middle and high school teams.
The Challenge Elements
The Lexus Eco Challenge also includes supplemental educational materials created and distributed by Scholastic, that support Common Core skills and encourage teachers to integrate creative lesson plans about the environment into their classrooms. For each challenge, the website (www.scholastic.com/lexus) has lesson plans and teacher instructions, including questions to help guide a discussion about the current challenge topic, facts about the topic, and guidelines for a specific classroom project.
Competition to reward environmental action helps young people apply what they’ve learned in class through the program and empowers them to make improvements in their community by participating in the eco-focused team challenges.
“It’s exciting to see year after year, the creative and inspiring action plans put together by these young students for the Lexus Eco Challenge,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “These students show the incredible promise their generation has as they tackle environmental issues in their communities and around the world.”
The Challenge Rewards
The Lexus Eco Challenge registration is open now and will conclude on December 8, 2014. Middle and high school teams, comprised of five to ten students and one to two teacher advisor(s), are invited to define an environmental issue that is important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report on the results. The first-place and grand-prize-winning teams will be announced in spring 2015.
Each of the challenges will have 16 winning teams – eight middle school and eight high school teams. The winning teams will each receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher and school. In addition, the winning action plans will be featured on a special webpage to inspire other students to take action in their communities.
In January 2015, the winning teams from the first two challenges will be invited to participate in the Final Challenge. Teams will be asked to reach beyond the local community and inspire environmental action around the world through innovative ideas that are communicated to a wide audience.
From the Final Challenge entries, eight first-place teams and two grand-prize-winning teams will be selected. Each of the eight first-place teams will receive a total of $15,000 in grants and scholarships, and the two grand-prize-winning teams will each receive $30,000. The money will be shared by the students, their teacher advisors and their schools.
Teachers are encouraged to visit http://www.scholastic.com/lexus to learn how they can take part and to review the Official Rules. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited.