Students create the projects for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, but the judging is up to teachers and other professionals. These judges have a big job to do. First, they must narrow the pool of entries down to 51 state finalists -- one for each state of the United States and Washington, D.C. From there, judges select the top three teams. This process is based on scores in four areas:
- Adherence to the contest parameters
All 51 state finalists gain recognition from the competition and a prize pack. The top three teams receive grant money to help them put their green plan into action. On top of that, each member of the top three teams receive additional awards:
- Third place: A $5,000 savings bond and a Flip camera
- Second place: A $5,000 savings bond, a Flip camera and a Discovery field trip
- First place: A $5,000 savings bond, a Flip camera, a Discovery field trip and a trip to present the winning project
The mentors who have worked with the winning teams get to go on the trips as well. Teachers who supervise the top three teams also win a Flip camera and free registration to the next national or area National Science Teachers Association conference. Mentors for the 51 state finalists receive a one-year subscription to Discovery Education Science and a one-year membership to the National Science Teachers Association.
Of course, since the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is founded on the idea of sharing knowledge about sustainability, all projects that follow the entry criteria are posted online for others to share. You can learn more about the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge and other green initiatives on the next page.