SIEMENS FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION CELEBRATE ECO-HEROES
FROM CLEAR CREEK ISD IN “SIEMENS WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD CHALLENGE”
Finalists Announced In National Program Inspiring High School Students to Become Agents Of Change In Their Communities by Creating Replicable Green Solutions to Environmental Problems
ISELIN, NJ — The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the College Board have named a team of high school scientists from Clear Lake High School in Houston, Tex., finalists in the 2012 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. Team Clear Lake was named a finalist for their project on desalinization and now has a chance to take home more than $50,000 in scholarships and prizes.
Over 1,600 high school students competed in the second year of the Challenge’s high school division and were challenged to address an issue related to energy, biodiversity, land management, water conservation and cleanup, or air and climate. Under the guidance of their mentor, Shridhar Madala, Clear Lake High School students created sustainable, reproducible improvements for their community using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.
The Texas finalists from Houston found that energy efficient desalination of water could have a major impact on the availability of drinking water. Team Clear Lake High School utilized carbon nanotubes to help solve this problem in their community. By virtue of their size and due to the potential energy barrier surrounding the tube entrance and exit, carbon nanotubes can potentially reject ions of divided salt at a higher flow rate than is possible with existing reverse osmosis systems which use conventional filter membranes. Through analysis of their carbon nanotubes in relationship to other desalination methods currently used, the team discovered that the nanotubes could create over six times as much drinkable water using the same amount of energy as alternative methods.
As part of a rigorous three-part judging process, a panel of environmental advocates and science educators selected finalists based on the project’s ability to creatively present a viable solution to some of today’s greatest environmental challenges. They will now be judged against 20 other teams in the hopes of taking home $50,000 in scholarship money that will be divided among each team member, a chance to present their project at a prestigious event and more. In addition, all state finalists also receive a green prize pack for each team member. National winners will be announced on May 30, 2012.
“Every year, some of the nation’s brightest students amaze us with their ingenuity,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation. “Since its inception, the Challenge has always been about finding tomorrow’s environmental leaders where they are right now -- right within our schools. The Siemens Foundation and its partners are proud to honor these students and their mentors for their commitment to noticeable environmental change.”
The national K-12 challenge is designed to encourage students to tackle environmental issues in their own communities and seek solutions to those problems. More than 62,000 of today’s youth have participated in the Challenge over the past four years, proving themselves as “Agents of Change” in their own communities. In the past, Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge winners and participants have run grassroots campaigns to reduce energy consumption at their schools. Others designed a pilot program to recycle food waste to create energy and tested the program in their town.
As a result of the Challenge, past students have been able to change their schools’ policies, open up their neighborhoods to new ideas and even inspired politicians to craft green legislation on both the state and national level.
For more information on the Challenge, the state finalists and their projects, visit www.wecanchange.com.
About Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge: The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge (www.wecanchange.com) is a premier national sustainability challenge that empowers students in grades K-12 to develop and share environmental solutions that can help change the world. The Challenge is a collaborative effort of the Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education, the College Board and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to educate, empower and engage elementary, middle and high school students and teachers to become “Agents of Change” in improving their schools, communities and world. To date, more than 62,000 students have participated, creatively engaging their communities to find solutions to a local environmental issue or global energy challenge. All participants research their issue using scientific investigation and create a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com.
About the Siemens Foundation: The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. In February 2010 the Siemens Foundation launched its newest initiative, The Siemens STEM Academy, a national STEM education program for teachers designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in these fields. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For further information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.
About Discovery Education: Discovery Education transforms classrooms, empowers teachers and captivates students by providing high quality, dynamic, digital content for grades K-12 and community colleges. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital media, professional development, assessment tools and a passionate educator network to support districts in accelerating student achievement. Discovery Education services like Discovery Education streaming, Discovery Education Techbook and Discovery Education Higher Ed, are in more than half of all US schools and 35 countries around the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.