Middle School

2011 Middle School Winners

Siemens, Discovery Education and NSTA are pleased to announce the National Middle School Winners of the 2010-2011 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge! See the winners from grades K-2, 3-5 and 9-12.

Choose A State To View Winners Team

First Place - HAWAII

  • Team Name 6000 n 60
  • Location Kapaau, Hawaii
  • School Kohala Middle School
  • Students
    • Isabel Steinhoff
    • Rico Bowman
    • Genevieve Boyle
    • Mina Apostadiro
  • Teacher/Mentor Lani Bowman
  • Description This team chose to focus on the disposal of household batteries, as there were no local opportunities to recycle them. 6000 n 60 predicted if they gave people local opportunities to recycle batteries, provided information on environmental harm and provided tips on how to better use batteries, their community would become more conscientious in their use and disposal of batteries. The team developed “6000 n 60,” a household battery recycling effort to collect 6,000 batteries in 60 days. They distributed pre- and post-surveys to gauge community awareness on the issue. The team designed their own logo and created t-shirts as well as distributed promotional materials to raise awareness and increase participation in the effort. In addition, the team involved the school and community through school bulletins, assemblies, posters, PSAs, presentations to local organizations, a community kickoff event, a Facebook page and guest speakers. They also set out bins to collect batteries. 6000 n 60 met their goal of collecting 6,000 batteries and the team is using their data to lobby the country for better battery recycling opportunities. The group also intends to speak to their state representative about state involvement as battery recycling is an issue state, nation and worldwide.
  • Team PhotoView Their Proposal

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Second Place - IOWA

  • Team Name Alpha Eliminators
  • Location West Branch, Iowa
  • School Prairie Creek Intermediate School
  • Students
    • Eleanor Mildenstein
    • Jordan Penfold
    • Payton Kline
  • Teacher/Mentor Hector Ibarra
  • Description After discovering that their state has the highest percentage of homes in the United States over the EPA-recommended mitigation level, the Alpha Eliminators selected the topic of radon awareness, testing and mitigation. The team’s action plan focused on assessing public knowledge through a questionnaire and testing homes and buildings around the community. The team educated community members and legislators about hazards and health risks associated with radon gas entering homes in the community. They also held meetings with the Home Builders Association and tested more than 70 homes for radon gas. They discovered that most people knew little about radon and, through their campaign, awareness increased significantly. They presented to legislators and worked with them to craft a bill to require inclusion of passive radon mitigation systems in homes under construction. If passed, the bill will legalize the sale of electronic radon meters in Iowa.
  • Team PhotoView Their Proposal

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Third Place - MASSACHUSETTS

  • Team Name Phantom Slayers
  • Location Acton, Massachusetts
  • School Raymond J. Grey Junior High School
  • Students
    • Vrinda Agarwal
    • Shilpa Bhat
    • Albert Kong
  • Teacher/Mentor Sumana Bhat
  • Description Team Phantom Slayers’ project focused on reducing the electricity wasted by phantom load and vampire electronics. Phantom load is energy wasted when an electronic device is in standby mode, or "off", but still plugged into the outlet and consuming power. They wanted to educate their school and community about this subtle yet significant energy drain as well as urge community leaders to institute policies that can reduce phantom load. The team distributed surveys, a pledge and brochures to raise awareness. They also utilized the school’s morning announcements and newsletter to get their school involved. After conducting experiments to measure energy waste, they presented their findings to several community groups, including households and schools. Then, they met with the EPA to help them request expansion of the Energy Star label to include phantom load. The team also convinced a Massachusetts State Senator to file a bill aimed at reducing phantom load.
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