TORRANCE, Calif., February 7, 2012 – Sixteen student teams from 11 states have been named winners in the second round of the fifth annual Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers young people to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. Lexus will award a total of $500,000 in grants and scholarships throughout this year’s program.
Students across the country demonstrated their commitment to the planet with programs addressing air and climate issues. Each winning team has earned $10,000 in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher, and school. The winning teams have secured an invitation to participate in the Final Challenge with a chance to win one of two $30,000 grand prizes and eight $15,000 first-place awards. In addition, the winning action plans will be featured on a special webpage to inspire other students to take action in their communities at scholastic.com/lexus.
“The thought and effort that these teens put into each Lexus Eco Challenge submission is truly inspiring,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “At Lexus, we’re proud to give them the opportunity to show their capabilities to others, as well as discover their own potential to improve the environment around them.”
For each of the challenges, teams are required 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 Challenge #2 winning teams that best addressed environmental challenges associated with air and climate are:
High School Teams:
- New York (Jericho) – “The United Nations International Team” – Jericho High School – Studied the effects of air pollution on human health and development of lung cancer
- Massachusetts (Boston) “BLS Youth Climate Action Network” – Boston Latin School – Launched a paid green training program in Summer 2011.
- Florida (Miami) – “Trophic Troopers” – Miami Palmetto Senior High School – Educated school on use of fossil fuels and implemented ways to conserve energy.
- Texas (Manor) – “The Eco Pirates” – Mano New Tech High School – Addressed how recycling affects our health and the heath of the planet (global warming).
- Missouri (St. Louis) – “Team Inspire Green” – Parkway North High School – Developed a green program addressing climate change and aimed to reduce the impact on the planet via a program that could appeal to the masses.
- Illinois (Bartlett) – “Mother Nature’s Minions” – Bartlett High School – Implemented a TerraCycle program at schools to address fossil fuel usage.
- Hawaii (Wahiawa) – “WE ACT” – Leilehua High School – Developed a program to encourage energy conservation and address climate change and air pollution.
- Worked at their school and in their community to educate and implement composting ideas.
- California (La Crescenta) – “Carbonators” – Clark Magnet High School –Investigated effects of fossil fuel usage and how renewable energy can be an alternative solution.
Middle School Teams:
- Massachusetts (Ashburnham) – “EAG” – Overlook Middle School – Educated school on climate change issues including global warming, the need to lower emissions, and deforestation.
- New York (Lagrangeville) – “SOS” – Lagrangeville Middle School – Educated school on global warming and taking steps to reduce waste
- Florida (Lakeland) – “Air Leaks” – Lawton Chiles Middle Academy – Discovered air leaks in homes and educated on the importance of proper insulation.
- South Carolina (Hanahan) – “HMS Hawks” – Hanahan Middle School – Educated community about air quality issues and the need to reduce air pollution and initiated carpool and tree planting program.
- Kentucky (Lexington) – “One-Towel Wonders” – SCAPA Bluegrass – Looked at how much water is wasted and carbon emitted when running the washer and dryer unnecessarily. They encouraged students to use one towel a week to reduce number of loads of laundry done to reduce emissions.
- Michigan (Whitehall) – “WMS Carbon Busters” – Whitehall Middle School – Aimed to reduce their school’s carbon footprint by conserving energy, increase recycling and offset carbon emission by planting trees.
- Missouri (Nevada) – “Team T.R.E.E.” – Nevada Middle School – Reduced carbon footprint by conserving energy and communicating the necessity of these actions by implementing Green Week at school.
- California (Salinas) – “BV Scientists” – Buena Visa Middle School – Improved air quality and reduced air pollution through reduced use of fossil fuels.
The winners in this year’s Lexus Eco Challenge will be announced in spring 2012. In addition to the ongoing contest, the Lexus Eco Challenge also includes educational materials created and distributed by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company at scholastic.com/lexus.
The Lexus Eco Challenge is part of The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, a philanthropic initiative that generates up to $5 million in donations each year for organizations that help build, shape and improve children’s lives.