This is something that I came across- Not sure if it is right for Cowles
Challenge Fast Facts:
* The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge at the elementary school level is designed to help students work together to solve an environmental problem in their classroom or school community.
* Open to all elementary school classes in grades K-5 with a teacher/mentor.
* The teacher/mentor must register and create a class team to begin. Then the teacher can work with his or her class to complete the application.
* The challenge focus for elementary school is change at the classroom or school community level.
* All submitted work must be completed during the entry period.
* The challenge is open August 31, 2010 through March 15, 2011.
* K-2 entries and 3-5 entries will be judged separately and a first, second and third prize winner from both K-2 and 3-5 will be selected.
As citizens and future stewards of our planet, today's students are in a unique position to become active agents of environmental change. The good news is that many of them are very interested in learning about and taking responsibility for their environment and their future.
Everyone can contribute to improving our environment and students are often eager to help. The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge offers students the opportunity to use science, math, and reading/language arts concepts and skills to create sustainable, reproducible environmental improvements. For example, students utilize their comprehension skills by reading and summarizing non-fiction texts. Then they use their writing skills to write an action plan to solve a local environmental issue based on what they have learned.
With the help of the Eco-heroes, students as a class can become Agents of Change. The five Eco-heroes on the website, Thera, Typhoon, Cirrus, Solara, and Aja, will help you provide encouragement and information for your class. But the most important eco-hero, you, will guide the class through the Challenge and help them reach beyond themselves and learn how to create change in your school environment.
The Challenge process on this website and the sample project ideas provided, may help you guide students to identify something in the classroom or school that they can change to help improve the environment. It may be a physical change that is needed, such as better insulation to reduce energy use, or it may be changing people's behavior or habits, such as packaging lunches in re-useable containers instead of throw-away packaging. It is important to note that the Challenge takes a scientific approach to the change process. The class collects data that helps them demonstrate that a change has taken place.
Top prizes include a grant for your school and green prize packs full of the latest in fun and sustainable products for each member of the winning classes.
Today's students are ready to change the world. Help them get started!