Monday, January 12, 2009

National Middle School Green Competition Urges Kids to Change Their Communities In 2009

/PRNewswire/ -- Now in the final months for entries, the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is encouraging middle school students across the United States to kick off 2009 by "going green" and implementing environmental change in their local communities. The website for this entirely web-based challenge, http://www.wecanchange.com/, is host to lots of kid-friendly activities such as virtual interactive labs, an eco-footprint game, an environmental IQ quiz, online journals, video clips-plus many more resources for both students and adult advisers.

Teams of two to three students in sixth through eighth grade, under the mentorship of a teacher or adult supervisor, will identify an environmental issue in their community, research the issue using scientific investigation, and create a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.

Teachers and adult supervisors are invited to participate in any of Discovery Education's January online webinars, which will provide additional information about the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Webinars will be offered Tuesday, January 13, at 4:30 PM (ET); Wednesday, January 14, at 5:30 and 6:45 PM (ET); and Thursday, January 15, at 5:30 PM (ET). To register, go to https://discoveryed.webex.com/ and click on "Events Center" at the top, then click on "List of Events" at the left and scroll down to "Other Events." Lastly, click on a "Register" link for your preferred webinar.

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge submissions from middle school students will be accepted through March 15, 2009. A total of 51 teams representing each state and the District of Columbia will be selected as state finalists and an additional 50 teams will be eligible for honorable mention awards. Three of the state finalist teams will be selected as national finalists, and one of those will be named the inaugural grand prize-winner. State finalist and national finalist teams will be announced in Spring 2009.

All student teams entering the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will receive prizes for their participation. Top-performing teams, as judged by a panel of environmental experts and science educators, will earn cash, teacher education materials and unique "Discovery Experience" trips. The grand prize-winning team will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes an appearance on Planet Green, Discovery's 24-hour eco-lifestyle network and a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery Adventure Trip, accompanied by a Discovery TV personality.

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have partnered on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge to educate, empower and engage students, teachers and communities to become "Agents of Change" in improving their communities nationwide. The initiative expands to elementary schools in 2009 and to high schools in 2010.

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