Lexus Eco Challenge Finalists Conquer Conservation and Climate Issues to Win $10,000 and a Chance to Compete for Up to $30,000 More - 32 Middle and High School Teams Selected as Finalists for the Lexus Eco Challenge

- Teams to compete for one of two $30,000 grand prizes and eight $15,000 first-place awards

- Final Challenge Winners Announced Spring 2014

TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Trading cell phones for calculators, and fashion trends for lab coats, 32 middle and high school teams were selected as finalists for the Lexus Eco Challenge – claiming a $10,000 prize to be shared among the team, teacher and school. The winners will now compete in the Final Challenge for a chance to win one of two $30,000 grand prizes and eight $15,000 first-place awards. The Lexus Eco Challenge is 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.

Lexus awarded 16 teams for the "Land and Water" challenge and 16 more for "Air and Climate" challenge. Winning submissions included:

  • Team 696, of La Crescenta, California, built and launched a weather balloon to collect data to speed regrowth in a local wilderness area. 
  • The Trash Terminators 2.0, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, partnered with a composting facility to set up a composting initiative, successfully diverting more than 80% of their school's trash by recycling and composting.
  • The Green Team, of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, constructed a bioreactor to research algae as a renewable energy source.
  • Team Solar Plug Solution, from Salt Lake City, Utah, implemented a solar outlet in their school's outdoor classroom to help conserve energy and excite the students about solar energy.

"Through the Lexus Eco Challenge teens continue to prove they can change the world, starting with their community," said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager.  "In the Final Challenge of this competition we task the teams to impact the world at large. It's exciting to see teens put their passion behind a plan."

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 finalist teams that best addressed environmental challenges associated with land/water and air/climate are:

Land and Water Finalists

High Schools

Region

School Name

Team Name

School City, State, Zip

Eastern

Arlington High School

Mission: Mitigation

LaGrangeville, NY 12540

Pinelands Regional High School

Pinelands Eco Scienteers

Tuckerton, NJ 08087

Southern

Hoover High School

Team Cahaba

Hoover,  AL 35244

Coppell High School

IB Coppell

Coppell, TX 75019

Central

Parkway North High School

Waste Busters

St. Louis, MO 63146

Bartlett High School

Greengineers

Bartlett, IL 60103

St. Ursula Academy

St Ursula Arrows

Toledo, OH 43606

Western

Clark Magnet High School

Team 696

La Crescenta, CA 91214

Clark Magnet High School

EcoNarcs MkII

La Crescenta, CA 91214

Guajome Learning Centers - Guajome Schools

The Preservation Foundation

Vista, CA 92083

Middle Schools

Region

School Name

Team Name

School City, State, Zip

Eastern

New Egypt Middle School

Eco-Mythbusters

New Egypt, NJ 08533

Southern

Whiteface Middle School

Arsenic Arresters

Whiteface ,TX 79379

Evans Middle School

The Green Jobs Team

McKinney, TX 75070

Guy B Phillips Middle School

Trash Terminators

Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Central

Charles City Middle School

Muscles

Charles City, IA 50616

Western

All Saints' Episcopal Day School

Eco Tigers

Phoenix, AZ 85012



Air and Climate Finalists

High Schools

Region

School Name

Team Name

School City, State, Zip

Eastern

Daniel Boone High School

Go Clean, Go Green, Goooooo Algae!

Birdsboro ,PA 19508

Grafton High School

Phineas & Ferns

Yorktown, VA 23692

Southern

Southside Christian School

Window Team

Simpsonville, SC 29681

Newberry High School

NHS Renewables

Newberry, FL 32669

Central

Visitation Academy

Visitation Vivettes

St. Louis, MO 63017

New Buffalo High School

Psionic Mushrooms

New Buffalo, MI 49117

Western

Clark Magnet High School

EcoNarcs Mk 2

La Crescenta, CA 91214

Clark Magnet High School

Enviros

La Crescenta, CA 91214

Middle Schools

Region

School Name

Team Name

School City, State, Zip

Eastern

Christa McAuliffe P.S. 28

Tunnel Savers

Jersey City, NJ 07307

Newtown Middle School

Mean Green Machines

Newtown, CT 06470

Southern

Lawton Chiles Middle Academy

Ghost Busters

Lakeland, FL 33801

Leonard Evans Jr. Middle School

Passive Solar Sunday

McKinney, TX 75070

Central

Byron Center West Middle School

Electrical Team

Byron Center ,MI 49315

Whitehall Middle School

iCompost@WMS

Whitehall, MI 49461

Western

Olympus Junior High School

Solar Plug Solution

Holladay ,UT 84117

Olympus Junior High School

Windustry

Holladay, UT 84117

To learn more about the winning teams, visit: http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3750833

For the final challenge, all 32 finalist teams will be asked to reach beyond the local community and inspire environmental action around the world through innovative ideas that are communicated to a wide audience. From the Final Challenge entries, eight first-place teams and two grand-prize-winning teams will be selected and announced in February 2014.

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, to encourage teachers to integrate creative lesson plans about the environment into their classrooms.  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. 

Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its line-up to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance.  With five models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F models, including the LFA supercar, for top-of-the-line performance. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 233 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.

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SOURCE Lexus



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