TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Lexus and Scholastic today are pleased to announce the second round winners in the 2012-2013 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.
Each winning high-school or middle-school team has earned $10,000 in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher and school. Their win has secured each team an invitation to participate in the Final Challenge for a chance at 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 Web page to inspire other students to take action in their communities at www.scholastic.com/lexus.
"The commitment and devotion shown by the students through their projects is remarkable," said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "We're thrilled at Lexus that we can continue to support the program and encourage young students to take action to better the environment."
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 (McGraw) – "Environment/Recycling Outside of the Box" – McGraw High School - Collected non-traditional recyclable items and coordinated event for items to be recycled or reused so that items can find new life and reduce waste in landfills.
- Massachusetts (Boston) – "Guardians of the Greenosphere" – Boston Latin School – Raised awareness of how the school community can reduce energy consumption and to use more efficient practices.
- Florida (Newberry State) – "Climate Control Corps" – Newberry High School – Educated students and community on how to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with information on climate change, solar energy, wind energy and reforestation.
- North Carolina (Raleigh) – "Heat Busters" - Enloe High School – Developed awareness about global warming and lowering carbon emissions via a Facebook page, online petition and a video.
- Indiana (Munster) – "PCV Patchers" – Munster High School – Reduced emissions of harmful gases released from cars by encouraging community members to change their PCV valves.
- Missouri (St. Louis) – "Forever Eco" - Parkway North High School – Implemented a plan to save the school's current composting program through education materials and posters.
- California (La Crescenta) - "Riptides" - Clark Magnet School – Created a prototype carbon filter for exhaust pipes and built a Native Plant Garden, including a windmill with blades to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
- California (Oak Park) – "Environmental Interconnectivity Team" – Oak Park High School – Educated the students and community on the use of alternative energy and solar energy by holding a teaching event for students.
Middle School Teams:
- New Jersey (Manahawkin) – "Breaking Wind" – All Saints Regional Catholic School – Created a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil by creating electricity using a small 12-blade model wind turbine.
- New Jersey (Wyckoff) – "CO2 Crew" – Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School – Addressed the dangers of car idling within their school and asked parents to take a pledge; raised money to replace trees in the local wildlife that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
- Texas (McKinney) – "Green Our School" – Evans Middle School – Created awareness of energy conservation with turning classrooms lights off when not in use and fundraising efforts for Pavegen energy tiles to be installed.
- South Carolina (Hanahan) – "Eco Hawks" – Hanahan Middle School – Reduced carbon footprint by encouraging recycling at school and in the community
- Kentucky (Lexington) – "The Green Freaks" – SCAPA – Reduced the amount of plastic throw-away used in the school by encouraging students and faculty to bring reusable bags.
- Kentucky (Lexington) – "Eco Excitement" – School for the Creative and Performing Arts - Raised awareness of the environmental benefits of reducing meat consumption.
- Utah (Holladay) – "Geothermal Awareness Team" – Olympus Jr. High – Researched and educated the community about Geothermal energy.
- California (Lancaster) – "Renewable Ravens" – Endeavour Middle School – Coordinated a school-wide competition for students to think about renewable energy and challenged the students to carpool.
This year's Lexus Eco Challenge launched this past September and concludes with the announcement of the first place and grand-prize-winning teams in spring 2013. The Final Challenge asks students to address an environmental topic that affects the world at large.
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.