Lexus and Scholastic Partner for Eco Challenge
The study of science in schools is very important, as it teaches our nation’s future inventors and developers the basics of our universe. In this era of school budget cuts and standardized tests, it can be difficult to find an interesting way to gain a student’s interest in science and how it can be used to improve our world. The minds at Scholastic and Lexus have come together to produce the ninth annual Lexus Eco Challenge to help schools and students reach their state-set goals while giving an opportunity for creativity.
The automaker and Scholastic, the largest publisher of children’s books and a leader in instructional materials, have worked hard to create the challenge and provide financial backing. Teams from middle and high schools are currently competing in the Land & Water challenge, with the Air & Climate challenge starting in October. Each team will create a project in the designated categories and implement it to improve our way of life. Winners from those subjects will then participate in the Final Challenge, and the best middle school and high school teams will bring home $30,000 each to their schools. Smaller prizes will be offered throughout the competition to qualifying schools.
This contest might sound like a distraction from normal classroom activities, but Scholastic and Lexus thought of that. Scholastic has made several supplemental materials available to use in class that support both the challenge and Common Core standards. Hopefully the connection between standardized testing and more creative thinking will lead to more hands-on learning in the classroom.
Past projects in the Lexus Eco Challenge have included Ohio students studying the effects of fracking, middle school students in New Jersey adding holes in garbage cans to shrink mosquito populations, and a team in South Carolina raising awareness about recycling. Hopefully these creative opportunities will allow a future scientist or engineer to discover their calling. The Lexus Eco Challenge is also a part of the Lexus Persuit of Potential, which uses donations and other means to help children create a brighter future.