Young people committed to making a difference in the world can win educational grants and scholarships in the sixth annual Lexus Eco Challenge, which has a total of $500,000 to give away. The program already has inspired and empowered more than 22,000 middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it.
For their efforts, Lexus has awarded more than $3.5 million to students, teachers and schools across the United States. Eco Challenge is in partnership with Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing, education and media company, to create the eco-friendly educational school programs.
The Eco Challenge has two parts —
One encourages teachers to create and integrate eco-friendly lesson plans into their classrooms to help teach students about the environment.
The other is a competition that reward environmental actions young people take when they apply what they’ve learned in class to make improvements in their community.
Middle and high school teams, comprised of up to ten students and a teacher advisor, are invited to participate in one or both of the two initial challenges, addressing environmental elements – land/water and air/climate.
For each part of the Lexus Eco Challenge, teams define an environmental issue important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report the results. Submission deadlines are October 29, 2012 for the first Challenge (land/water), and December 17, 2012 for the second Challenge (air/climate)..
Each of the challenges will have 16 winning teams – eight middle school and eight high school teams. Winning teams receive a total of $10,000 each in scholarships and grants to be shared among the students, teacher and school. In addition, winning action plans will be featured on a special Web page to inspire other students to take action in their communities.
In early January, the winning teams from the first two challenges will participate in the Final Challenge. Teams will be asked to reach beyond their local community and inspire environmental action around the world. Winning teams get up to $30,000 each to share among the students, their teacher advisors and their schools.
Lexus and its parent company Toyota have a long history of environmental concern. After all, Toyota brought us the Prius, the best-selling hybrid on the planet. And Lexus has a long history is the luxury hybrid leader with five low-emission hybrid vehicles available.
When Lexus began selling hybrids in 2005, it helped advance the concept of sustainability without sacrifice.
The Lexus Eco Challenge is part of The Lexus Pursuit of Potential, a philanthropic initiative that generates up to $3 million in donations each year for organizations that help build, shape and improve children’s lives.