What is the Eco-Footprint Challenge? Give kids real-world environmental problems to solve using their science, technology, engineering and math skills, and add the incentive of friendly competition. That is the Eco-Footprint Challenge in a nutshell.
The Piedmont Natural Gas Eco-Footprint Challenge, developed by the Catawba River District and funded by our regional utility, encourages our students to get creative with ideas to improve the sustainability of their schools.
River District students apply what they learn
Six River District elementary and middle schools located in Mount Holly, Belmont, and Charlotte near the Catawba River have accepted our invitation to take part in the inaugural 2013 competition.
Through this friendly competition among neighboring schools, students apply science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) principles to devise ways to protect the environment or reduce energy, water, solid and food waste.
Judges (regional business people and River District volunteers) will evaluate each project on several criteria, including creativity, presentation and the project’s success at meeting its goal. We will announce the winning schools on May 20.
Challenge’s deeper goal
The Eco-Footprint Challenge will engage many students from families that are economically challenged and have limited opportunities to engage in STEM learning beyond their schools. Educators say that students with strong STEM skills by middle school are much more likely to pursue advanced education in science, technology, engineering and math. Many of the best-paying jobs in the global economy require those skills, as well.
Visit schoolecochallenge.org to see all the action this spring.
We'd love to have you get involved, too. Helping kids grow and succeed is rewarding for them and you. To learn more, call River District Executive Director Edna Chirico at 704-562-8847.