Fabien Cousteau, left, listens to students in Bryn Mawr, Pa. share concerns about the environment. The Bryn Mawr school was one of the 14 first-place teams from last year’s challenge. Photo courtesy of The Ocean Futures Society.
Lexus and Scholastic announce the launch of the second annual Lexus Eco Challenge. The Challenge is open to middle and high school students with a focus on learning about the environment and taking action to improve it. One million dollars in grants and scholarships will be awarded to winning students, teachers and schools.
This year, The Challenge will be joined by Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau currently works with his father, Jean-Michel Cousteau for the environmental organization, Ocean Futures Society. Cousteau’s role with the challenge will be to help inspire more students to participate in The Challenge.
“I’m a believer that once people realize how simple it can be to help protect our environment, they’ll get involved,” said Cousteau. “The Lexus Eco Challenge brings this realization to the next generation who will be most affected if we don’t begin to find solutions to our environmental challenges today.”
You can listen to Fabien Cousteau explain The Lexus Eco Challenge further in this video.
Students can participate in The Challenge two ways:
- By participating in lesson plans that teach students about the environment. Curriculum materials are provided for teachers. Materials are designed by Scholastic to meet educational standards. They are available online.
- By competing for an award for environmental action. Students can actively participate in making improvements in their community through one of the three environmental team challenges focusing on land, water and air/climate.
“We saw teens discover their potential to make a difference, and we heard from teachers that they were truly inspired by what their students accomplished. We have high hopes for this second year as even more young people join us in helping to improve the environment,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager.
How to Participate in The Challenge
Registration opened on Sept. 15, 2008, and The Challenge will conclude with the announcement of the first-place and grand-prize-winning teams during Earth Month, April 2009.
Each team should consist of 5-10 middle and high school students and one teacher advisor. To participate in a challenge, a team needs to define an environmental issue that is important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report the results. Teams are invited to participate in as many of the three challenges as they choose.
Sixteen winning teams will be selected for each of the three challenges – eight middle school and eight high school teams. Winning teams each receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher and school.
In mid-February, the winning teams from the first three challenges will be invited to participate in the Final Challenge, which will have a global focus. Fourteen first-place teams will receive a total of $30,000 in grants and scholarships, and two grand-prize-winning teams will each receive $50,000.
The first submission deadline is October 24, 2008. Full program information, classroom materials, rules and entry details can be viewed at www.scholastic.com/lexus.
[This post was written by Beth Bader.]