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Edison International Announces Winners of Edison Challenge Competition


ROSEMEAD, Calif.— Gabrielino High School in San Gabriel and Eastshore Elementary School in Irvine were selected as first-place winners in the 2009 Edison Challenge, an environmental science competition. They were among nine teams to take top honors in the third annual event co-sponsored by Edison International and the University of Southern California (USC).

“The Edison Challenge is one of the company’s premier community-based initiatives designed to expand educational opportunities for young people. The competition continues to inspire students who exhibit a passion for improving their environment,” said Barbara J. Parsky, senior vice president, Corporate Communications, Edison International.

Sixty-one student-teacher teams submitted original science projects related to energy and the environment. Hundreds of students, parents and teachers attended the awards ceremony held at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on March 28. Bill Nye, popularly known as “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” was a special guest speaker and presented winners with certificates.

Pedro Pizarro, Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) executive vice president, power operations, congratulated winners and competition participants. Edison International is the parent company of electric utility SCE. Pizarro encouraged students’ interest in learning more about protecting the environment and exploring renewable and alternative sources of energy. “These students realize the importance and value of scientific innovation. And they clearly were up to the Edison Challenge with their submissions of many noteworthy projects,” he said.

Gabrielino High School emerged as the first-place winner for the second year in a row. The team’s project on access to clean water focused on a community-wide effort to recycle cans and bottles to earn funds to meet their goal of purchasing 1 million LifeStraws, a portable water purification system for use in developing countries.

The winning project in the middle school category, which was open to students in grades six to eight, came from sixth graders at Eastshore Elementary School who set up a composting site on their campus. Team members and teachers from both first-place schools will spend a week on Catalina Island and participate in activities at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center.

Second-place winners in the competition were Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica and Sycamore Canyon School in Newbury Park. Students won a four-day trip to SCE’s Big Creek Hydroelectric Facility in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Honorable mentions were awarded to a second team from Gabrielino High School, Oak Park High School in Oak Park, Pacific Coast High School in Tustin, St. John the Baptist School in Baldwin Park and San Gabriel Christian School in San Gabriel. Each of these schools received a laptop computer. Teachers with teams named as finalists received stipends ranging from $150 to $500.

Edison International partnered with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, a unit of the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, to create the Edison Challenge in 2006. The company has made a $1 million commitment to fund the program over four years, the largest environmental education grant ever awarded by Edison.


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