Congratulations to the Winners of the Lexus Eco Challenge!

Lexus and Scholastic are pleased to announce the final challenge winners of the 2008-2009 Lexus Eco Challenge!

Congratulations to the winners of the Final Challenge! These teams created outstanding projects that reflected their dedication to local and global environments around them. Their projects and photos were a true testimony to the power of how “small steps” contribute to a greater good. Thank you for a job well done!

Grand Prize Winners

Thornridge Biodiesel

Thornridge BioDiesel, Illinois
Team: Garrick, Darryl, Terry, Lamar, Tramel, Jay, Gabrielle
Thornridge BioDiesel’s teacher advisor Brian Sievers and his team built a biodiesel processor, held a community oil drive, hosted a number of popular presentations, and embarked on a media blitz about their project that resulted in MySpace and YouTube videos, as well as a number of appearances in local press outlets!



EcoGeeks, Florida
Team: Amanda, Jason, Shannon, Natasha, Ross, Jhon, David, Kevin, Shawn
Teacher advisor Allan Phipps and his team focused on aiding the hurricane relief efforts in Haiti. The team sent solar ovens, low-impact “green cuisine” recipes, and seedlings to Haiti’s large number of struggling refugees.



First Place Winners

Emission Commission

Emission Commission, Maine
Team: Chadwick, Ryan, Tyler, Ben, Alyssa
In addition to writing a children’s book and establishing exhibits at their community’s high schools, teacher advisor Andrew Njaa and the Emission Commission utilized a website, a blog (which garnered approximately 20,000 hits in three months), a Facebook page, a global online petition, an online survey, and a Myspace profile to reach a national audience about the effects of vehicular and industrial pollution.


P.R.I.D.E., Florida
Team: Kaitie, Naomi, Linda, Allison, Gabby, Ja’Layne
In an information campaign to enlighten their community (and the nation) about aquatic habitats and vanishing wetlands, Dr. Cynthia Holland and her team aimed high. They held a cleanup at Santa Fe River, established lesson plans and a contest relating to their cause, contacted local government about their campaign, and set up a website with downloadable documents, blogs, podcasts, and more!

Croc Hunters

Croc Hunter Crew, California
Team: Hannah, Ryan, Jasneet, Christina, Alex
Led by teacher advisor Kendra Grinsell, Croc Hunter Crew produced videos, generated an auto-call campaign, organized “meatless meals” for their peers, and emailed thousands of people to encourage a reduction in their community’s collective carbon footprint.



EnvironMENTALists, Nevada
Team: Alyna, Pia, Cara, Rupali, Nina
Teacher advisor Catherine Williams and the EnvironMENTALists contacted their community members, legislators, and sister schools countrywide (and globally) about water conservation. They sent thousands of emails, posted MySpace videos, and set up a Facebook page about their conservation-conscious efforts!


Super Soil Planters

Super Soil Power Planters, Texas
Team: Weller, Rocky, Elise, Suzanne, Kyle, Dominique, Hannah
Teacher advisor Melinda Barnes and her team built nearly 6,000 square feet of satellite gardens in Texas. They spread awareness about their project’s focus of decreasing gas mileage by mass emails, Twitter, a blog, and a website dedicated to their cause!



Riders of the Storm

Riders of the Storm, Ohio
Team: James, McKenzie, Cece, Carolyn, Libby, Dillon, Cole, Jillian, Suzy
The Riders analyzed the benefits that a rain garden will bring to their community. Led by teacher advisor Mary Halsall, the team’s outreach efforts—including informational pamphlets, a Facebook page, a blog, YouTube videos, local media publicity, and more—helped spread the word to thousands of people!

Composting Comrades

Composting Comrades, New Jersey
Team: Erin, Shelby, Brooke, Matthew, Julie
The Composting Comrades and teacher advisor Carolyn McGrath crafted a step-by-step manual on composting and supplemented their outreach efforts with a website, a YouTube video with more than 300 hits, and a popular Facebook page listing more than 130 members.


Team Leaf

Team LEAF, Missouri
Team: Gina, Mark, Max, Natalie, Rivi
Word of Team LEAF’s rain garden project reached large groups of people via their website, brochures, presentations, mass emails, a Facebook page, and specific Google ads to target national and global audiences/groups that have environmental concerns.



Gators Going Green

Gators Going Green, New York
Team: Faith, Jen, Cailin, Innah, Ashley, Clare, Carmen, Theresa, Allison, Summer
To inform other schools and communities about their recycling program (their school has now recycled over 11 tons of paper), teacher advisor Laura Salewski and her team used a YouTube video and a successful letter-writing and phone campaign.



S.O.A.K., New Jersey
Team: Aidan, Donovan, Emily, Rachel, Joey, Sara, Kelly, Misty, Sean, Jon
Through local media coverage, a website, a petition drive, newsletters, and letter writing, teacher advisor Stephen Kubricki contacted activists and potential advocates for their campaign to spotlight New Jersey’s endangered species.


River Runners

River Runners, Montana
Team: Laura, McKenna, Delanie, Lane, Mikaela
Healthy wetland and riparian areas are at the core of the River Runners’ project. Teacher advisor Eric Vincent and the team broadened their reach with Facebook, MySpace, and FORSpace pages, their own website (with 2,000+ hits), and by communicating with schools in neighboring states and establishing contact abroad!


Smarticles, Iowa
Team: Raelyn, Jessie, Katelyn, Jessica, Malayne, Pearl, Gillian, and Alexis
Teacher advisor Phoebe Pittman and her Smarticles hope to reach an audience of 10,000 or more with their efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The team’s information campaign is built on press releases, informational flyers, and a much-viewed video on YouTube.

St. James Wukwonago

St. James, Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Team: Emily, Melissa, Sarah, Sebastian, Amanda, Anthony, Christie, Chad, Ashley, Courtney
Teacher advisor Marsha Grutzmacher and her team used a website, several blogs, local media outlets, and a Facebook page to spread awareness about the need to recycle whenever, wherever possible!


WCMS Cougars

Walt Clark Middle School Cougars, Colorado
Team: Mickey, Robbie, Shane, Martin, Tori
Recycling paper was the top concern of the Walt Clark Middle School Cougars. Teacher advisor Carlyn Luna and her team generated interest in recycling within their school district with presentations and attracted more than 280 online members to groups they formed via Wikispaces, Facebook, and Gaia Online.

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