Lexus and Scholastic Announce Winners of the Lexus Eco Challenge #2

TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 30, 2009 – To date, nearly 5,000 teens nationwide have taken part in this year’s Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take a stand to improve it. In the second of three initial rounds of competition, 17 teams in 15 states have been awarded $10,000 each for their outstanding entries.
 
The Challenge #2 winners showed creativity and dedication as they addressed a variety of water-related issues including conservation, pollution and wetland restoration. This win has also secured each team an invitation to participate in the Final Challenge for a chance at $50,000. In all, $1 million in scholarships and grants will be awarded throughout the year.
 
Third generation oceanographer/environmentalist and Lexus Eco Challenge spokesperson Fabien Cousteau was especially inspired by this set of entries because his family has a history of involvement with environmental issues relating to water. “To know that so many young people now have a better understanding about how pollution and overuse of our natural resources is damaging our environment isan encouraging sign that future generations will be better stewards of our planet than we have been,” he said.“Just think, if everyone took the time to find one small way they could help conserve water or reduce pollution, we’d be well on our way to resolving some of the environmental issues we face today.These students are inspiring others to take action.”
 
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 “Water Works” were:
 
High Schools:

Middle Schools:

“With so many great entries, it was tough to pick just a handful of winners,” said Lexus Group Vice President Mark Templin. “It’s clear that the teams poured their hearts and souls into their projects, and we’re all impressed with the extraordinary impact of their hard work.”
 
The Lexus Eco Challenge, now in its second year, launched on Sept. 15, 2008, and concludes with the announcement of the first place and grand-prize-winning teams during Earth Month in April 2009. Challenge #3, “Air/Climate,” started on Dec. 17, 2008 and ends on Feb. 6, 2009.
 
In addition to the ongoing contest, the Lexus Eco Challenge also includes educational materials designed by Scholastic to encourage teachers to integrate creative lesson plans into their classrooms to help teach students about the environment. For each challenge, the Web site (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.
 
The Lexus Eco Challenge is part of The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, a philanthropic initiative that generates up to $3 million in donations each year for organizations that help build, shape and improve children’s lives.