Students Nationwide Invited to Tackle Environmental Issues at Third Annual Siemens Design Challenge

- Nation's Premier Sustainability Challenge Opens to High School Students for First Time -

ISELIN, N.J., Sept. 8 — (PRNewswire) — The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) today announced the kick-off of the third annual Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a program that educates, empowers and engages students and teachers nationwide to become "Agents of Change" in identifying and solving environmental problems. The third year of this national sustainability challenge -- now expanded to include high school students -- encourages all students, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their schools (grades K-5), community (grades 6-8) and world (grades 9-12).

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After expanding last year to elementary school students, this year's Challenge is turning to the nation's high school students to identify and address environmental issues that they see as problems in the world.  In keeping with the Challenge's overall mission to build a more sustainable world, high school students will be specifically encouraged to focus on energy-related issues using scientific investigation, and create a replicable solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education.  

"The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge inspires our nation's students to become stewards of our planet through scientific exploration," said Siemens Foundation President Jeniffer Harper-Taylor. "We have been incredibly impressed by the scope and impact of the projects completed over the past two years and are looking forward to even more extraordinary solutions this year as we open the Challenge to high school students."

Over 13,000 students competed in the 2010 Challenge across elementary and middle school grades. Projects ranged from reducing lunchtime waste to saving local trees and encouraging eco-friendly gardens.  The grand prize team, "No1Idling" from Novi, MI, focused on reducing community pollution by raising awareness about the environmental impact of vehicle idling among area drivers.  

Teachers, students and mentors can log on to now to register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge.  Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips and much more.  Fostering learning, team work and problem solving around sustainability, the website offers robust resource guides, lesson plans and teacher materials to accompany each stage of the challenge.  These materials are created by Discovery Education, the division of Discovery Communications providing scientifically proven, standards-based digital content and resources to classrooms nationwide, and the NSTA, the largest science teacher organization in the world dedicated to improving science education and increasing student learning by engaging all teachers of science.  A panel of environmental experts, science educators and the College Board (high school) will judge teams on both their ability to create a positive, measurable solution to a local sustainability issue or challenge using scientific methodology and their ability to explain how the solution can be replicated by other communities  

The deadline for all entries is March 15, 2011.  Finalists and winners will be announced in April 2011 and the national winners will be announced in May 2011.  For more information, visit or

About the Siemens Foundation

The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. Its signature programs, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, reward exceptional achievement in science, math and technology. The newest program, The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens in the U.S. For more information, visit

About Discovery Education

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education.  Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement.  Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services.  Explore the future of education at

About the National Science Teachers Association

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications
Siemens Foundation
Discovery Education
National Science Teachers Association
Lauren Espin, for Siemens Foundation
Phone: +1-732-590-2182
Email Contact
Christina Scripps, for Discovery Education
Phone: +1-240-662-6502
Email Contact
Kate Falk, for NSTA
Phone: +1-703-312-9211
Email Contact

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