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Lexus announces 2013 Eco Challenge award worth $500K

Lexus' 7th annual Eco Challenge is about to get underway. Students, teachers, and schools can earn up to $30,000 in prizes per winner.

Lexus kicked off its 7th annual The Lexus Eco Challenge September 3rd. The idea is to help students in grades 6-12 become excited about the STEM subjects. Those are science, technology, engineering and math. To date, Lexus has supplied more than $ 4 million to classrooms to students, teachers, and the schools.

This year, Lexus and Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing, education and media company have partnered to provide more than $500,000 in prize money. First prize is $30,000 for the winning middle and also high schools. Teams from various schools will compete with one another for the top prizes. Each team creates an idea focused on either Land/Water or Air/Climate. Winners of the preliminary round then go on for the big prize round.

Ashlie Beals, the teacher advisor for the 2011 grand prize-winning team explained how the contest motivates her group of 8th grade students, saying, “The Lexus Eco Challenge is an integral part of the environmental studies curriculum at our school. For the past six years, all of my 8th grade students have worked in teams to create and implement innovative campaigns to encourage others to make one small change that can have a large positive impact on our environment.”

Lexus idea is that team-oriented environmentally-friendly science projects can benefit the community. Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager emphasized this in a statement today, saying “We're pleased to see the Lexus Eco Challenge helps inspire teens to improve the world around them. It further opens their eyes to environmental issues in their communities and gives them the experience and confidence to take action to improve those issues.”

Registration for the program is now open. The teams that start now will learn in the spring which are the winners. In total there will be 16 winning teams and each will earn a $10,000 prize which is shared among the students, teacher-advisors, and the school.

Submission deadlines are: Challenge #1 (Land/Water) – Oct. 7, 2013 and Challenge #2 (Air/Climate) – Nov. 11, 2013. Teachers can visit to learn more about this program.