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 the middle school Challenge, 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 a local environmental issue or problem in their community, research it, develop a plan, collect data, analyze that data, and share the results they've found so far.
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 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 first register on wecanchange.com and then create his/her team(s). Students on the team(s) will receive a passwords to access and complete the application. While the Team Advisor/Mentor may provide application guidance, the students are responsible for completing 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 6th through 8th 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 ideas have the potential to win the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
Team with ideas that demonstrate that they:
- Researched background information to help define the problem or issue
- Used the background information to develop the solution plan
- Collected data as the plan is carried out
- Used the data, both qualitative and quantitative, in analyzing the results
- Drew a conclusion about the effectiveness of the solution based on data
Are there any topics we should avoid that may have been done excessively in previous years of the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge?
- Recycling programs have been the subject of a large number of previous projects. Be aware that unless your recycling program is extremely creative, innovative and unusual, it may not be competitive.
- Review previous top winning projects. Try to distance yourself from topics previous winners have used.
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 local environmental problems
- utilize student creativity
- use community involvement
- encourage students to recommend how others could use this solution in their communities
What specifically must be included on the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge application?
The application must be filled out completely by the student team, and must include information on all of the following steps: Choose It, Research It, Plan It, Do It, Analyze It, and Share It. There is a final optional step to attach a PDF file that includes graphs, images, or other supporting material, and/or a link to a YouTube video. You will also be asked to include relevant citations for each step. Click here to view the middle 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:
1. Local Environmental Issue or Problem
2. Community Engagement
3. Scientific Approach
For more detail on judging requirements, visit the Judging Criteria section of this site.
Are home-school teachers or other adult mentors 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? Do the teams 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 local and of manageable size for middle 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. If you are continuing work on a project that was started before September 13, 2012, you must cite any prior work appropriately within your application.
Can teams of more than 4 students participate?
No, teams must consist of two, three or four students with a Team Advisor/Mentor.
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 section 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?
First the Team Advisor/Mentor must register for the challenge and form a team. Once this is done, you can sign in at any time to work on the application. Only the Team Advisor/Mentor can submit the final 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 asked 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 go to 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 6th through 8th 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.