What is the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is a K-12 environmental sustainability challenge. For high school, students form teams of two, three, or four and work with a Team Advisor/Mentor (who must be a full-time or part-time school employee at a school attended by at least one of the student Team members) to identify an environmental issue with implications beyond their community, research it, develop a plan, collect data, analyze that data, and share the results they've found so far. The issue chosen must have global implications and their solution should be replicable beyond their local community. Students should select a topic that falls under at least one of the following topics: Energy, Biodiversity, Land Management, Water Conservation & Clean-up, Air & Climate.
How do I participate in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge and what is my role?
Visit the Getting Started section of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge website to find all the information you need to launch a successful project. A Team Advisor/Mentor (who must be a full-time or part-time school employee) must register on www.wecanchange.com and then create his/her high school team(s). Students on the team(s) will then receive passwords to access and complete the application. While the Team Advisor/Mentor may provide application guidance, the students are responsible for completing the application. The student Team Lead is responsible for reviewing and submitting the application. There are a variety of classroom-related resources to support your efforts under the section titled Resources. See the Official Rules for more information.
Who is eligible to participate in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
Teams may be made up of two, three, or four students. With the sole exception of students and employees of Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, each Team Advisor/Mentor and each student team member must be legal U.S. residents of one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, enrolled in 9th through 12th grade at a public, private, parochial or home school located in one of the 50 United States or DC at the time of entry, under the supervision of a full-time or part-time school employee (who will serve as the Team Advisor/Mentor). Employees and students of a DoDEA school must reside on a United States military base. The Team Advisor/Mentor may choose an adult volunteer to support their team(s), but the adult volunteer will not be eligible for prizing. See the Official Rules for more information.
What types of projects will win the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
The most successful team ideas demonstrate that the team has:
- provided thorough answers to each of the steps of the application
- researched background information to help define the problem or issue
- identified a clear hypothesis
- used the background information to develop the solution plan
- clearly identified the roles of the team members and others involved
- collected data as the plan is carried out
- used the data, both qualitative and quantitative, in analyzing the results
- drawn a conclusion about the effectiveness of the solution based on data
- created an innovative solution that can be replicated beyond their local community
- illustrated recommendations for replication
- motivated others to action through a communication plan
- provided realistic recommendations for how to implement globally
What are the goals of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
The goals of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge are to:
- engage students in identifying and solving environmental problems
- utilize student creativity and innovation
- encourage community and network involvement
- recommend how others could use this solution outside their communities
What specifically must be included on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge application?
The application must be filled out completely, and must include thoughtful response to all of the eight steps (Identify & Research a Problem, State Your Hypothesis, Plan and Design Your Project, Analyze & Provide Results, State Your Conclusion, Share It, Global Impact). You will also be asked to include relevant citations for each step. In the last step of the application, you have the option of including one PDF file and/or one link to a YouTube video. Click here to view the high school Challenge application.
How will the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge be judged?
The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will be judged by an independent, qualified judging panel on the following:
Identification of Environmental Issue or Problem and Research
Sharing and Replication to a Larger Audience
Creativity and Innovation
For more detail on judging requirements, visit the Judging Criteria section of this site.
Are home-school teachers eligible to apply for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
Yes, home-school teachers and home-school students are both eligible to apply.
When are applications for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge being accepted?
September 13, 2012 through March 5, 2013. All applications must be submitted by March 5, 2013.
When will the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge applications be judged?
There will be two rounds of judging after the Challenge entry period is over. Potential winning teams will be notified on or about March 27, 2013.
What if our project is ongoing? Does the team need to have completed a project in order to qualify, or can they submit a project in progress?
Problems or issues that students choose should be of manageable size for high school students to take on. It is not essential that the solution be carried out to full completion, but the process should be started and some results collected. There must also be ideas or recommendations for how the project/solution can be replicated by others. If you are continuing work on a project that was started before September 13, 2012, you must cite any prior work and who was involved appropriately within your application.
Can teams of more than four students participate?
No, teams must consist of two, three or four students with one Team Advisor/Mentor and one student identified as the student Team Lead.
Can a student participate on more than one team?
No, students may only participate on one team. However, a Team Advisor/Mentor may have more than one team.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners and finalists will be announced on or about April 22, 2013.
What are the prizes and how many will be awarded?
Please see the Prizes page for full details.
Do all participants of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge receive anything or just winning teams?
Every team that participates receives an online certificate.
How do I access my profile or application?
Sign-in to access your profile and application. Note that a Team Advisor/Mentor must first register and create your team. Then all team members have access to work on the application.
I can't remember my password. How can I access my application?
Team Advisors/Mentors can reset their registration password. Click on the password reset button. You will then be prompted for your email address. A system generated password will then be emailed to you. You can use thus password going forward, or reset the password in the "My Profile" area. Students who forget their team password need to contact their Team Advisor/Mentor to retrieve it. All Team Advisors/Mentors will have a summary of team passwords.
Is the Challenge open to students outside of the United States?
Yes, the Challenge is open to students at DoDEA schools, but they must reside on a United States military base at the time of entry. The Challenge is also open to students within one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia, enrolled in 9th through 12th grade at a public, private, parochial or home school located in one of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia at the time of entry.