- Learn what an Action Plan is
- Explore the UN Sustainable Development Agenda as a model Action Plan
- Work in teams to brainstorm practical solutions to local environmental issues
- Use the Challenge Planning Sheets and Action Plan Reference Rool and Submission Template to develop and implement their own Action Plans
- Submit their Action Plans to compete in the Lexus Eco Challenge
- Lexus Eco Challenge Planning Sheets, including:
- Environmental Topics Challenge Planning 1
- Choosing the Right Topic Challenge Planning 2
- Planning and Teamwork Challenge Planning 3
- Creating an Action Plan Challenge Planning 4
- Beyond the Action Plan Challenge Planning 5
- Action Plan Reference Tool & Rubric
- Action Plan Submission Template Download Instructions
- Learning Skills & Standards List
Step 1: To get started on the Lexus Eco Challenge, download the Action Plan Reference Tool & Rubric and the Challenge Planning Sheets to help your students brainstorm, plan, and create their own environmental Action Plans that they can submit as members of a team entering the contest.
Step 2: Visit the Lexus Eco Challenge website to learn more about How to Enter and view the Official Rules. Please note that teachers must register their teams for the Lexus Eco Challenge and that teams must use the Action Plan template for their submissions. The worksheets are support documents created to guide teams in developing their entries.
Step 3: Review The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform in preparation for the warm-up discussion below.
Warm-up Discussion: What is an Action Plan? The UN Sustainable Development Agenda
Step 1: Discuss the United Nations with your class. Share the United Nations Missions Statement:
- The United Nations is a global organization that brings together its member states to confront common challenges, manage shared responsibilities and exercise collective action in an enduring quest for a peaceful, inclusive and sustainably developing world, in conformity with the principles of justice and international law and with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Step 2: Point out that one of the United Nations’ main goals is to ensure that the world continues to develop in a sustainable way.
Explain that in order to achieve such a large goal, the United Nations needed to develop an “action plan” with clear subgoals and specific indicators of success for countries around the world to follow.
In 2015, the member countries of the UN agreed to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, a huge global action plan that contains 17 individual goals. Not all of the goals have to do with the environment or climate change, but many of them do because those areas have a major impact on so many other issues, like poverty, food and water security, and even migration.
Step 3: Examine Goal #7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy) with your students to provide a concrete example of how an action plan is structured.
Use the Goal 7 page on the UNSDG Knowledge Platform to help guide the discussion.
Point out that the goal contains multiple specific targets that need to be met.
The United Nations has developed established guidelines for each target, which help them measure whether or not the targets are being met.
Step 4: Recap to students that an action plan clearly identifies the problem to be solved, outlines clear goals that will solve that problem, and defines how success in meeting those goals will be measured.
Main Activity: Creating an Action Plan and Participating in the Lexus Eco Challenge
Step 1: Tell students you will now challenge them to be environmental stewards in their local communities. Explain that the Lexus Eco Challenge gives middle school and high school students the opportunity to develop innovative ways to address local environmental issues by creating and submitting Action Plans. Winning teams have a chance to win up to $40,000 in school grants and student scholarships!
Step 2: Help the students form teams of 5-10 students to enter the Lexus Eco Challenge.
Step 3: Distribute copies of the five Challenge Planning Sheets to students:
Environmental Topics Challenge Planning 1: Students can see example topic recommendations for each of the challenge phases, Land & Water or Air & Climate. Students must choose unique topics for each Challenge phase and may choose to enter one or both phases.
Choosing the Right Topic Challenge Planning 2: Students can use this sheet to brainstorm environmental issues that affect their community and then select the one the team wants to address.
Planning and Teamwork Challenge Planning 3: This worksheet can help teams map out what they want to accomplish and how to get there. Who’s doing what to create the Action Plan that the team will submit as their Challenge entry?
Creating an Action Plan Challenge Planning 4: This page includes tips for students to consider as they create and implement their Action Plans, gather results on their Action Plan projects, and develop their Challenge entry. For example, how will the team measure success? How will they raise community awareness about the issue and the team’s actions to address it?
- Beyond the Action Plan Challenge Planning 5: This page features ideas to help teams showcase their work and the community’s reaction, including creating websites, videos, and press releases. Community outreach and social sharing should be done under the supervision of the teacher advisor(s).
Step 4: Register your team(s) for each round of the Challenge they plan to enter.
Step 5: Utilize the Action Plan Reference Tool & Rubric to help your students understand how to structure their submission. Then use the Action Plan Submission Template Download Instructions to help your students access the Template and begin their submission.
Step 6: Support your team(s) and ensure they meet competition deadlines as they work to develop their projects and action plans.
Wrap-up Activity: Submitting an Action Plan to the Lexus Eco Challenge
Step 1: Confirm that each of your teams is registered for the relevant round of the Lexus Eco Challenge they plan to enter.
Step 2: Download and use the Action Plan Template to create your team's/ teams' entries.
Step 3: Submit your team’s/teams’ completed Action Plan(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org by the competition deadlines.
Land & Water Challenge: October 16, 2019
Air & Water Challenge: December 4, 2019