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Giving a Hoot Pays off for Mount Madonna Students

A group of elementary school kids win national sustainability challenge for their efforts to protect the Western Burrowing Owl.

A group of wise local kids are among the winners of the fourth annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge.

Team Give A Hoot! from and its mentor, Jessica Campbell, won First Place in the grades 3-5 elementary school division of this year’s Challenge for their project on environmental threats to the Western Burrowing Owl.

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is the nation’s premier national sustainability challenge designed to encourage K-12 students to become true agents of change by tackling environmental issues in their own communities and across the globe.

For the Challenge, elementary, middle and high school students were tasked with identifying an environmental issue in their schools, communities or worldwide and creating a replicable green solution under the guidance of a teacher or mentor using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. More than 27,000 students participated in this year’s competition.

The K-12 national winners were chosen from a select group of 72 finalists and whittled down by a rigorous judging process. A panel of environmental advocates, science teachers and professors selected this year’s winners based on each project’s ability to creatively present a viable solution and engage their communities.

“The Siemens Foundation and its partners are proud to honor team Give a Hoot! and their mentor for their effort to tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental and energy challenges,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, President of the Siemens Foundation. “Each year we are just amazed at how dedicated the next generation is to solving some of our most pressing sustainability issues.”

Team Give A Hoot! was chosen for its project on environmental threats to the Western Burrowing Owl. Students conducted habitat restoration, environmental clean-up and created educational binders and signs. They conducted scientific experiments to discover how native plants benefit this owl and how it reciprocates. Based on their findings, students wrote, directed and produced an educational film that has and will be shown in many venues. The film dramatically illustrates what could happen if people don’t protect this owl. Donations will be invested with local conservation groups working to protect the owl’s habitat and in Kiva.org, a micro-loan organization that brokers small loans to help subsistence people purchase tools, supplies and equipment.

As the Grand Prize winners in the elementary school division, team Give A Hoot! has won a  Discovery Education assembly focusing on sustainability at their school and Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge green prize packs for each student, and the team’s mentor, Jessica Cambell, has earned a $5,000 grant for Mount Madonna School. Jessica Cambell has also won free registration and hotel accommodations at an upcoming NSTA national or local conference and a one-year membership to NSTA. 

For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge and for details on additional Challenge finalists and winners, go to 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 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.

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