Congratulations to the winners of the 2011—2012 Final Challenge!

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS

 

 

Green Musketeers, New York
Team: Kristin, Brendan, April, Anuja, Anirudh, Rebecca, Diane, Anuhita, Matthew
The Green Musketeers had already developed its own water purification system as part of the Land/Water Challenge, and the team subsequently intended to patent it, sell it, and use the profits to help third-world countries. Producing this water treatment system meant hours of lab work—compiling data, meeting with local water companies, holding fund-raisers, and reaching out to inform the team’s local community of their efforts—in addition to raising awareness of the world’s water crisis. Guided by teacher advisor Serena McCalla, the students had their water filtration research published in a nationally recognized science journal, and donated nearly $2,500 to a local laboratory for researchers to improve their system—making it more affordable to implement on a global scale. The team will make donations to a number of organizations to maintain local water quality and to further the cause of addressing the global water crisis. Way to go, team!

 

 

One Towel Wonders, Kentucky
Team: Herman, Sara, Blakeley, Jordan, Baylee, Spencer
It’s simple when you think about it: Using one bath towel per week is a smart way to conserve water. This concept was at the center of the Lexus Final Challenge project from One Towel Wonders and teacher advisor Ashlie Beals. When the team initially surveyed their school community for the Air/Climate Challenge, they found that a typical four-person household used at least 16 towels weekly. It seemed only natural for the team to target the wasted water and electricity that accompany this kind of habit. To spread the word about their simple “One Towel, One Week, One Way” campaign, the One Towel Wonders visited nearby Sullivan University where they held a Q&A and distributed more than 100 brochures to get the word out. Some of the team’s brochures about saving water and energy are also circulating in local hotels, too. Taking their project to the capitol building, the students spoke personally with a state representative. They went on to devise creative fund-raisers at their school for the initiative, and presented it at a district science fair that was attended by more than 1,500 people!


FIRST PLACE WINNERS (High School)


 

Carbonators, California
Team: Tevin, Adrian, Dillen, Yeprem, Hrair, Steven, Edmond
After exploring and documenting the heavily polluted atmosphere of Southern California, teacher advisor Dominique Evans-Bye and her team researched fossil-fuel emissions on a global level. The students created maps using the ArcGIS mapping system, globally identified “solar potential” and pinpointed where solar panels would make the most sense, reaching more than a dozen countries with their data.

 

WE ACT (Wahiawa Environmental Action Catalyst Team), Hawaii
Team: Kevin, Asa, Aulani, Michelle, Theresa
By polling their community, fund-raising, collaborating with public officials, and forging numerous partnerships with local organizations, teacher advisor Karen Yamamoto and her team taught the principles of energy conservation to more than 2,600 people!

 

Environmental Discovery Project, Ohio
Team: Liam, Noah, Shawn, Zak, Max, Clay, Lilly, Cal, Andrew, Kelli
Students from the Environmental Discovery Project, led by teacher advisor Natalie Cooper, focused primarily on composting. They mentored classmates on the benefits of composting, partnered with countywide groups and community gardens, connected with local manure producers, conferenced with international organizations via Skype seminars, and funded composting bins for residents of Ecuador.

 

Trophic Troopers, Florida
Team: Jason, Christopher, Sofia, Joelle, Joshua
Teacher advisor Pamela Shlachtman and her team took aim at carbon dioxide’s contribution to global warming, specifically in the areas of ocean health, solid waste, and vehicular emissions. By extending their “No Idle” project to other schools, starting a Bike Day campaign, and implementing an electronic devices recycling drive, Trophic Troopers are well on their way to expanding their reach!

FIRST PLACE WINNERS (Middle School)

 

HMS Hawks, South Carolina
Team: Murray, Parker, Adeline, Anna, Madeline, Johnna, Katelyn, Brittany, Jessica
HMS Hawks chose a topical issue to focus on in the Final Challenge: eating locally.  Led by teacher advisor Alexandra Davis, the team established a greenhouse (fitted with its own rain barrel and compost bin), planting over 400 seeds. The HMS Hawks hosted seed-planting workshops, created and promoted a community “eat local” night, and set up a successful “local food truck” night that offered only foods made with local ingredients!

 

WMS Carbon Busters, Michigan
Team: Alaina, Breann, Brooke, Elle, Nathan, Morgan, Victoria
With a set of simple but noble project objectives that hit particularly close to home, WMS Carbon Busters and teacher advisor Susan Tate highlighted the negative impacts of buying bottled water. Locally, WMS Carbon Busters collected more than 400 bottles; The team was also able to sell hundreds of reusable cups and donate more than $500 to the UNICEF WASH Project.

 

Purpledinowolficorns, Kentucky
Team: Katie, Emily, Kasara, Ethan, Morgan, Casey, Hannah
Led by teacher advisor Melanie Trowel, Purpledinowolficorns gathered more than 500 signatures on a petition that called for environmentally sound improvements to the local community. The team conducted and promoted a waste audit at their school, contacted the mayor’s office, and partnered with their community center to improve conditions at a local public garden.

 

Team Aqua, California
Team: Alex, Brian, Camilla, David, Edward, Jadei, Mercedes, Rayven
As its name suggests, Team Aqua took aim at water conservation. Teacher advisor Tami Straolzini and her students explored what could be done to improve access to clean water on a global scale. Through various education efforts, water treatment plant trips, a fund-raising event, a partnership with the Air Force, and both national and international outreach, Team Aqua donated hundreds of dollars to Global Water’s “Healthy Schools” program and more.

 

Congratulations to the winners of the 2011—2012 Air Climate Challenge!
MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

winner
 
Air Leaks, Florida
Team: Annie, Prajakta, Rohan, Axita, Neeshi
Proper insulation is important to maintaining energy efficiency in any home. Teacher advisor Debbie Viertel led her team in exploring the amount of electricity they could save just by ensuring that their homes and school are properly insulated. Air Leaks audited their community, created lesson plans, and presented at a nearby nature festival to get the word out!

winners
 
The B.V. Scientists, California
Team: Richard, Mariah, Kapil, Julia, Jasmine, Mary, Ellie
Teacher advisor Holly Preece and her team took aim at reducing their community's use of fossil fuels. After polling their school community and encouraging folks to bike or car pool to school, the B.V. Scientists estimated that their efforts helped save nearly 30 gallons of gas on the team's "Save the Environment Day"!

winners

Eco-Friendly Awareness Group (EAG), Massachusetts
Team: Bailey, Courtney, Delia, Morgan, Skylar
EAG's students and teacher advisor Ruth Crowley alerted their school community to the benefits of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The team's "Green Week," a proposal to reduce CO2 emissions in their school community for four days, reduced the student body's use of electricity by more than 440 kilowatt-hours!

winners
 
HMS Hawks, South Carolina
Team: Murray, Adeline, Amanda, Anna, Madeline, Johnna, Katelyn, Brittany, Jessica
With impressive media outreach and more, HMS Hawks and teacher advisor Alexandra Davis worked steadily to get the word out about reducing air pollution in their local community. The team raised $1,500 toward the purchase of a greenhouse while distributing and planting 400 Virginia pine trees.

winners
 
One Towel Wonders, Kentucky
Team: Herman, Sara, Blakeley, Jordan, Baylee, Spencer
A lot of energy is wasted when we wash and dry our towels every week. Led by teacher advisor Ashlie Beals, One Towel Wonders focused on reducing the waste that accompanies laundry day. They locally distributed more than 400 pamphlets that advise the use of ONE TOWEL weekly instead of one washer load!

winners
 
Team S.O.S. (Saving Our Society), New York
Team: Brianna, Narhee, Ellen, Claryssa, Julia
Teacher advisor Donna Bolner and Team S.O.S. embarked on a campaign to encourage recycling within their school community. They voiced their global warming-driven cause via class presentations, messages on the school windows, and gathered more than 200 signatures for a banner in support of recycling and reducing human impact on the climate!

Team_TREE.jpg
 
Team T.R.E.E. (Teens Reducing Extra Emissions), Missouri
Team:
Chaden, Sam, Riley, Carsten, David, Anton, Ali
Wasting energy was a prime concern of the students on Team T.R.E.E. Led by teacher advisor Peggy Pennington, the team set up an eco-focused "Green Week" at school, were featured on local TV and radio stations, and assisted in the administration's recycling program, helping recycle more than 3,000 pounds of paper as part of the project!

WMS_CarbonBusters.jpg
 
WMS Carbonbusters, Michigan
Team: Alaina, Elle, Brooke, Breann, Victoria, Nathan, Morgan
Teacher advisor Susan Tate and WMS Carbonbusters tackled excessive carbon emissions in their school and local community. The students organized a shoe recycling drive (a yield of 300 pairs), installed recycling bins at the school stadium (550 cans and bottles collected), and encouraged 25 educators to use task lamps with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) instead of overhead fluorescent lights for their planning periods!


HIGH SCHOOL

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BLS Youth Climate Action Network, Massachusetts
Team: Sydney, Jordan, Adrianne, Krishana, Carol, Allie, Maddie, Laura, Thienan, Will
For a successful "green" teen jobs program that this team worked on at their school, the BLS Youth Climate Action Network and teacher advisor Catherine Arnold developed energy audits and put together audit action plans to evaluate energy efficiency on campus and at a nearby community center. Through presentations, the students made informed suggestions about reducing their school's carbon footprint.

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The Wahiawa Environmental Action Catalyst Team, Hawaii
Team: Asa, Michelle, Aulani, Kevin, Theresa
Inspired by the fact that 90% of the electrical energy used in their native Hawaii is rooted in fossil fuels, teacher advisor Karen Yamamoto and her team set their sights on energy conservation. The students forged partnerships with local officials and organizations and secured permission to set up a photo-based mural at the public transit center that they hope will encourage conservation!

CARBONATORS.jpg
 
Carbonators, California
Team: Yeprem, Tevin, Adrian, Dillen, Anna, Hrair, Steven, Edmond
Teacher advisor Dominique Evans-Bye led the Carbonators in an extensive research-and-presentation effort. The team developed three maps in order to publicly present the relationship between ozone contamination and asthma risk levels in California. Additionally, the students discovered where the implementation of solar panels in the region would be most sensible.

ECO_PIRATES.jpg
 
Eco Pirates, Texas
Team: Anh, Farah, Majeed, Luis, Avery, John, Alex
The Eco Pirates and teacher advisor Claudia Acevedo utilized "pledge power" in their efforts to spread awareness about recycling within their community. The team collected data about who was recycling in the school community and visually connected the benefits of recycling to reducing the effects of global warming for elementary school audiences. The students used a pledge-signing campaign to drive home the idea of making Earth a sustainable place!

MOTHER_NATURES_MINIONS.jpg
 
Mother Nature's Minions, Illinois
Team: Zane, Amber, Michael, Violet, Victoria, Prachi, Neil, Alisha, Jinal, Helen
By partnering with free waste collection program Terracycle, Mother Nature's Minions and teacher advisor Philip Church have begun to spread the word about an intelligent and easy recycling program to more than 40 schools in their district. A handful of the schools have enrolled, and more are signing on for the coming school year.

TEAM_INSPIRE_GREEN.jpg
 
Team Inspire Green, Missouri
Team: JJ, Celina, Soo Sup, Kevin, Zack, Abby, Suzanne, Mohammed, Jacqueline
Teacher advisor Russell Barton and Team Inspire Green undertook the development of outdoor learning environments for students at their school, as well as campuses districtwide. Throughout the year, the students built a rain garden, helped maintain a number of separate rain gardens and formal gardens, removed more than 6,500 feet of honeysuckle along a school fence, and planted loads of native plants!

TROPHIC_TROOPERS.jpg
 
The Trophic Troopers, Florida
Team:
Jason, Christopher, Sofia, Joelle, Joshua
As part of a statewide competition, teacher advisor Pamela Schlachtman and her team collected 3,000 signed "I will recycle" pledges from their school community, and their school was one of three winners for the most pledges. Their "No Idle Zone" was equally important in raising eco-awareness-the team's public service announcement centered on the environmental issues that idling presents. It also afforded the team the chance to "ticket" cars for idling at school!

UNITED_NATIONS_INTL.jpg
 
United Nations International Team for Environmental Development, New York
Team:
Christopher, Sharon, Varsha, David, Aaron
Teacher advisor Serena McCalla and her team reached more than 19,000 people in their efforts to spread awareness about the relationship between air pollution and lung cancer. The students spoke to school and community audiences about limiting fossil fuel use, held fund-raising events and earned $1,000 to donate for lung cancer research, and conducted high-level, elaborate research on alternative biodiesels.


Congratulations to the winners of the 2011—2012 Land Water Challenge!

HIGH SCHOOL

winner
 
Environmental Discovery Project, Ohio
Team: Liam, Noah, Shawn, Zak, Max, Clay, Lilly, Cal, Andrew, Kelli
Teacher advisor Natalie Cooper and team tackled the issue of waste disposal in their community, specifically honing in on compostable materials. The students lobbied for the installation of a dry toilet at a nearby park, held "green" educational programs, set up composting and recycling programs at school, donated an additional composting toilet to Afghanistan, and built a Roman garden for their school lunches!

winners
 
Trash Talking Teens, New York
Team: Laurence, Samuel, Cristina, Conor, Eric
These teens talked trash, big-time. Teacher advisor Ana Topolovec and her team met with local government officials, small community businesses, and their school's faculty to discuss the importance of recycling. After surveying and collecting data from an estimated 600 people, the next step is securing a grant to help implement a recycling program at these small businesses!

winners
 
The Green Musketeers, New York
Team: Kristin, Brendan, April, Anuja, Anirudh, Rebecca, Diane, Anuhita, Matthew
Led by Teacher advisor Serena McCalla, the Green Musketeers took aim at reducing water pollution and usage. The students snagged some spotlight in USA Today and received commendations and awards from scientists in the field of water filtration for the successful, cost-efficient water-purification system they developed!

winners
 
Team S.A.L.T. (Saving Another Living Tree), New York
Team:
Dorothy, Ted, Jamie, Mirhee, Sid, Jim, Natsuko
In the dead of winter, road salts are seeping into our groundwater and dehydrating plants. Teacher advisor Maribel Pregnall and her team worked to raise awareness about this problem. They conducted experiments to demonstrate the dangers of road salt to our ecosystem and learned how to use YSI Meters to measure the salinity and conductivity of their nearby Fly Sprout Creek.

winners
 
The Preservation Foundation, California
Team: Alexis, Jessica, Gerardo, Alicia, Brendan, Alex, Brandon
The wetlands in Guajome Park have a long corridor drain that divides the area's ecosystem and visitor foot traffic. Teacher advisor David Getner and his team devised a corridor drains restoration plan and are on their way to preventing 3,500 pounds of trash from polluting the wetlands!

winners
 
Invasive Annihilators, New York
Team: Eddie, Mackenzie, Allie, Rachel, Shriman
Led by teacher advisor Maribel Pregnall, Invasive Annihilators set out to identify and remove invasive species in their nearby parks as well as educate the community about the threat! The students developed educational materials about the invasive species, spoke to more than 60 high school students, and cleared 27 affected trees from their nearby Peach Hill Park.

winners
 
ECO (Westminster Environmental Campus Organization), Georgia
Team: Caroline, Mary, Diana, Alex, McKenzie, Priya, Ben
Teacher advisor Jen Harper and her team took aim at enlightening their peers and the rest of the community about conservation. They lobbied successfully for the installation of low-flush toilets on campus, held "gardening work days" to replace the stock of inorganic produce in the cafeteria, and got recycling bins implemented in all corners of their stadium!

winners
 
Climate Action Network, Massachusetts
Team: Madeleine, Julia, Nhu, Arluah, Janice, Steven, Rebecca, Eshe, Anthony, Alexxa
The Climate Action Network and teacher advisor Catherine Arnold hatched a zero-sort recycling campaign at their school (paper, bottles, cans, plastic). After heavily promoting a pro-recycling program at school, trash was cut by 50% in volume, with the amount of trash decreasing by almost 150 pounds!

MIDDLE SCHOOL

winners
 
Organic Waste, Florida
Team: Jared, Nicky, Rohan, Axita, Jared, Divya
When trash and grass clippings are washed into storm drains, your local ecosystem is negatively affected. Teacher advisor Debbie Viertel and her team partnered with local groups and officials for a lake cleanup and gathered personal pledges to help prevent grass clippings from ending up in nearby bodies of water. Nearly 350 members of the community pledged to do their part!

winners
 
Weedbusters, New Hampshire
Team: Joshua, Brianna, Matthew, Jackson, Tristan
Teacher advisor Norman Roulx and his team worked to create public awareness about their community's responsibility to help preserve ecosystems, specifically their region's lakes and ponds, which are threatened by an invasive species called milfoil. Through the team's various partnerships, fund-raising, and educational outreach efforts, word is getting around!

winners
 
Get Mugged, New Jersey
Team: Sean, Shannon, Alexandra, Jenna, Ryan
Led by teacher advisor John Twaddell, Get Mugged expanded impressively upon a very simple idea: using a refillable coffee mug instead of a plastic-lined paper cup is an environmentally smarter choice by a mile. They did some research and let everyone else know! The team's post-survey revealed that 35% of the faculty, staff, and parents polled have switched to refillable mugs based on the students' findings and presentation.

winners
 
Purpledinowolficorns, Kentucky
Team: Ethan, Casey, Emily, Katie, Morgan, Kasara, Hannah
Under a team name that's actually several proposed names mashed into one, Purpledinowolficorns and teacher advisor Melanie Trowel embarked on a rain garden restoration project in their school community. They raised funds in a bake sale, too, and held presentations for the faculty, students, and staff about the importance of land and water conservation.   

winners
 
The Batmen, Iowa
Team: Brody, Johnathan, John, Shane, Nick
Led by teacher advisor Phoebe Pittman, the Batmen partnered with their local Parks and Recreation board and local nonprofits to help change their community's opinions of bats. The students convinced the city to build bat houses with preservation in mind, as these mammals need to be kept warm and dry in order to help cut down on damage that insects inflict upon crops and more.

winners
 
SASS (Students Advancing Scientific Studies), Michigan
Team: Cassie, Sarah, Rachel, Taylor, Logan, Nate, Morgan
A robust campus recycling plan and a paperless school environment were at the center of SASS's action plan. Teacher advisor Justin VandePol and his team had their video message broadcast across the school district and helped initiate "paper-free" days at school, contributing to a 50% reduction in paper usage!

winners
 
Threatening Stingerz, CA
Team:
Sidney, Taylor, Jocelyn, Franchesca, Makenna, Abby, Serenity
Led by teacher advisor Debbie Jones, Threatening Stingerz take mosquitoes seriously. At the community's fall festival, the students shared a booth with a local business to publicly demonstrate how often mosquito-borne diseases are a threat to humans. Their YouTube PSA got nearly 4,000 views!

winners
 
Team Aqua, CA
Team: Camilla, Rayven, David, Edward, Jadei, Brian, Mercedes, Alejandro
At their school event nights, Team Aqua and teacher advisor Tami Straolzini zeroed in on water conservation. They conducted research on ways to save water, and presented the benefits of water conservation to approximately 200 attendees at a school activity night, nearly 300 people on the second night, and to numerous workers at the local water department facility!

Click here for 2010/2011 Winners!

Click here for 2009/2010 Winners!

Click here for 2008/2009 Winners!

Click here for 2007/2008 Winners!

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