A team from , known as the “Carbonators,” recently won First Prize at the fifth annual Lexus Eco Challenge.
The competition, sponsored by Lexus and Scholastic publishers, asks middle and high school students to create environmental programs that can have positive effects on local communities.
The $25,000 prize includes $10,000 for qualifying for the challenge, $3,000 for the winning school, $2,000 for the teacher-advisor and $10,000 in scholarships for students of the team. Lexus and Scholastic hope that the challenge will inspire students to learn more about the environment and find sustainable solutions.
“For anyone who wonders if teens today care about the world, the Lexus Eco Challenge is proof that they do,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager, in a prepared statement.
“Through this program, more than 25,000 participants have demonstrated that they want to make the world a better place. By coming up with real-world solutions to environmental challenges, students are learning how they can make a difference in the world around them.”
Clark Magnet High School is a Glendale Unified School District that focuses on science and technology.
The Carbonators worked with teacher-advisor Dominique Evans-Bye and consulted with Professor Yifei Sun of California State University, Northridge’s Geography Department to research the negative effects of smog ozone smog in Los Angeles County and its impact on the environment.
The students utilized a number of resources, including ArcGIS mapping technology, data from the Environmental Protection Agency and information from the California Department of Health. With the various tools, the team came to the conclusion that ground-level ozone smog was directly related to asthma incidents. They proposed saving energy by constructing solar panels at each GUSD campus.
At the end of their project, the Carbonators collaborated with the Alliance for Climate Education, a national nonprofit for climate science education, to hold a school assembly that would spread awareness on alternative energy resources.
“The project-based group learning promoted by the Lexus Eco Challenge gives students a chance to put skills they learn at school to work, using data and technology, to identify problems and craft real-world solutions,” commented Clark Magnet High School Principal Doug Dall in a prepared statement.
for a proposal featuring the effects of pollution on the local food chain.
“It’s a great motivator for learning. The kids always amaze me at the quality of the work they come up with,” said Evans-Bye, teacher-advisor for the project.