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Iowa Middle School Team Named the Grand Prize Winner in National Community Focused Sustainability Challenge


Winning Team Takes on "Dead Weight” in the Automotive Industry

-- Grand Prize Includes Once-in-a-Lifetime Discovery Adventure Trip with a TV personality, an Appearance on Discovery’s Planet Green TV Network and U.S. Savings Bonds --

(New York, N.Y.) The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announce today the national winning teams in the first-ever Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge:

Grand Prize Winners: Team “Dead Weight” from West Branch, Iowa

* West Branch Middle School Students Jathan Kron (age 12), Justin Roth (age 13) and Brennan Nelson (age 12), along with their teacher, Hector Ibarra, raised awareness about the dangers of lead wheel weights in vehicles to help phase out this hazardous material in the tire industry.

Second Place Winners: Team “Recycle Because You Care” from Addison, Illinois

* St. Philip the Apostle School students Angel Lozzio (age 13), Maggie O’Brien (age 12) and Dana Gattone (age 13), along with their team advisor, Dawn O’Brien, recruited non-recycling households in their community to start recycling and launched a school recycling program.

Third Place Winners: Team “Stewards of the Pamlico Sound” from Buxton, North Carolina

* Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies students Evan Haas (age 14), Ashley Hodges (age 14) and Kailee Pieno (age 14), along with their teacher, Tracy Shisler, created an artificial oyster reef to restore the oyster population of Pamlico Sound.

“These winning teams have implemented truly remarkable environmental change in their communities,” said James Whaley, President, Siemens Foundation. “The Siemens Foundation and its partners Discovery Education and NSTA, remain committed to the future and to those who will create it,”

“It’s inspiring to witness tomorrow’s leaders embrace sustainability, while actively engaging their community to make a real difference in the world around them through the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge,” said Bill Goodwyn, President, Discovery Education.

“We commend the winning teams and their teachers for their creativity, resourcefulness and commitment to promoting sustainability in their communities,” said Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director, NSTA. “As a result of their hard work, and with the support from the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, we are empowering today’s students to become responsible stewards of the environment in the years to come.”

The grand prize-winning team, “Dead Weight,” will receive a comprehensive prize package, which includes an appearance on Planet Green, Discovery’s 24-hour eco-lifestyle network, a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery Adventure Trip accompanied by a Discovery TV personality, a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond, a chance to present their project before a panel of environmental experts, a flip camera and a Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge eco-friendly prize pack of school supplies. In addition to the above, the team’s advisor will receive free registration and hotel accommodations at an upcoming NSTA national or area conference, a one-year membership to NSTA and a 12-month subscription to Discovery Education Science, the digital content library designed to engage today’s technology-savvy students with science.

Information about second and third place prizing can be found at

About the Challenge
Over 2,000 students participated in the inaugural year of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which asked teams of two to three students in sixth through eighth grade, under the mentorship of a teacher or adult supervisor, to identify an environmental issue in their community, research the issue using scientific investigation, and create a replicable green solution using web-based curriculum tools powered by Discovery Education. A panel of environmental experts and science educators then reviewed and selected the top projects.

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and NSTA have partnered on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge to educate, empower and engage students, teachers and communities to become “Agents of Change” in improving their communities nationwide. The initiative expands to elementary schools in 2009 and to high schools in 2010.

For more information on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, go to

About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. Its signature programs, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, reward exceptional achievement in science, math and technology. The newest program, The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information, visit

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including For more information, please visit

About the National Science Teachers Association
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education. For more information, please visit


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