If you know a student with a passion for science, technology, engineering and math, here’s a great contest for them. It’s the ninth annual Lexus Eco Challenge, a contest for middle and high school students across the U.S. to help clean the air, water, and land in their neighborhoods. And oh yeah, they can win part of $500,000 in grants and scholarships in the process.
In all, more than 27,000 middle and high school students have earned over $5 million for themselves, their teachers, and their schools through the competition.
“All of my students participate in the Eco Challenge, and I am continually impressed at how their leadership, teamwork, research, and communication skills develop during the process,” said Ashlie Arkwright, eighth grade teacher at SCAPA Bluegrass, Lexington, Ky. and teacher advisor for 2014-2015 Lexus Eco Challenge first place middle school team “No Heat Ninjas.”
Teams of students can enter both of the first two challenges, which are focused on Land & Water and Air & Climate. This year, the Land & Water Challenge will run first, Aug. 17-Oct. 16, followed by the Air & Climate Challenge, Oct. 17-Dec. 11. Winners from each challenge are then invited to go on to participate in the Final Challenge, Jan. 11 to Feb. 19, 2016 with a top prize of $30,000 for both the winning middle and high school teams.
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 November 2015 for the Land & Water Challenge, while Air & Climate Challenge winners will be announced in January 2016.
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.
The winning teams from the first two challenges will be invited to participate in the Final Challenge. Out of those, 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.
For more info head to the Challenge website.