JERICHO, N.Y., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of nine highly motivated students from Jericho High School in Jericho, Long Island are celebrating their contribution to the Earth. Not only have they done their part to protect the planet, they've also emerged as the Grand Prize winner in the high school category nationwide, winning $30,000 in the Lexus Eco Challenge, an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it.
Earlier this academic year, the team was awarded $10,000 for its entry in the Land-Water Challenge, and now as a Grand Prize winner in the Final Challenge, Jericho High will receive another grant for $30,000, which will be shared by the school ($7,000), the teacher advisor ($3,000) and scholarships for the students ($20,000).
This year's fifth annual Lexus Eco Challenge (www.scholastic.com/lexus), created by Lexus and Scholastic, had more than 400 registered teams representing more than 2,300 middle and high school students nationwide. From the 32 Final Challenge participating teams, Lexus and Scholastic have chosen two $30,000 Grand Prize-winning teams and eight $15,000 First Place teams. In all, $500,000 in grants and scholarships have been awarded throughout the seven-month-long environmental education program and contest.
"For anyone who wonders if teens today care about the world, the Lexus Eco Challenge is proof that they do," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Through this program, more than 25,000 participants have demonstrated that they want to make the world a better place. By coming up with real-world solutions to environmental challenges, students are learning how they can make a difference in the world around them."
Jericho High School's "Green Musketeers" team focused their Final Challenge efforts on conserving water. The students created a PowerPoint presentation that included Facebook communications of their project goals, a video discussing global water-related issues, and suggestions as to how students, parents and the community can become involved in saving water. Two of their projects addressed water filtration and heavy metal adsorption from drinking water.
"It is an amazing feat to have students from Jericho High School acknowledged as the Lexus Eco Challenge Grand Prize winners; especially noteworthy as this was our first time participating in this competition," said the team's advisor, Jericho High Science Research Coordinator Serena McCalla.
"The Green Musketeers are dedicated to water preservation, pollution awareness, and identifying solutions to remediating contaminated water sources," she added. "I am honored to work with these Jericho HS students. They not only scholastically but communally promote, value, and work towards ensuring an ecologically sound future for this planet. Their work at regulated research institutions, worldwide promotion of ecological precautionary handling techniques, and taking initiative to focus on sustainability via changing their environment is astounding. The Green Musketeers attitude and work ethic exemplifies the standard of excellence which makes Jericho High School extraordinary. Our research program coupled with Lexus Eco Challenge will continue to stimulate and encourage young adults to identify solutions for issues faced by our country today and in the near future. I congratulate the Green Musketeers, their families, Jericho HS teachers and administration whose collaborative effort have ensured such a noteworthy accolade."
The Lexus Eco Challenge will enter its sixth year in fall 2012. Teachers and students are encouraged to visit www.scholastic.com/lexus to view all the winning entries and to learn how they can take part in next year's program.
SOURCE Lexus, a division of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.