Lexus and Scholastic Announce Winners of the Lexus Eco Challenge #3

Fabien Cousteau 1
$1 Million Environmental Contest Enters Final Stage
 
Hundreds of communities across the country learned about climate change, energy conservation and ways to protect the environment thanks to the work of participants 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. Sixteen teams in 14 states were awarded $10,000 each for their outstanding entries in Challenge #3, the last of three initial Challenges.
 
Challenge #3 required teams to focus on topics related to air and climate. The winners addressed a variety of issues including global warming, biodiesel, clean-coal technology and air pollution. These winning teams have joined the other 32 winning teams from earlier stages by earning an invitation to participate in the Final Challenge, which requires teams to reach beyond the local community and inspire environmental action around the world. Two grand-prize winning teams will each receive $50,000 in grants and scholarships, and 14 first-place winning teams will receive $30,000 each. The winners will be announced this April in conjunction with Earth Day. In all, $1 million in scholarships and grants will be awarded during this year’s contest.
 
“Many of these winning teams tackled some complicated issues,” said third generation oceanographer/environmentalist and Lexus Eco Challenge spokesperson Fabien Cousteau. “They’ve proven that small groups can indeed make a huge impact. We hope this experience has instilledin themthe drive to understand today's environmental challengesand a life-long desire to find the solutions for a better future.”
 
For each of the challenges, teams were 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 #3 winning teams that best addressed Air/Climate were:
 
High Schools:


Middle Schools:



“We’re all being touched by these tough economic times, and it’s easy to get drawn into all the negativity,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “This program is generating so much positive action, and it’s inspiring to see these young people discovering their voices and realizing that they can make a difference.”
 
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, now in its second year, 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.