Elementary School

Introducing the Challenge

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is designed to help students work together to solve an environmental problem in their classroom or school community.

Participation requires consensus, compromise, collaboration, team building, trust, and good leadership. You can introduce the challenge by using the steps below.

Engage Your Students

  • Ask, "Do you want to live in a clean or dirty world when you get older?" then "Are there things we can do to make our world cleaner and healthier?"
  • Have students take the Environmental IQ quiz to see what they know about the environment
  • Pose the question, "What is an eco-hero?" Read aloud or have students read and discuss the Agents of Change in small groups.
  • Redirect students to the question, "What is an eco-hero?" Discuss until students understand that an eco-hero is someone who helps the environment in a proactive way. Then ask, "Can we be considered eco-heroes? Why or why not?"

Explain the Challenge to Your Students

  • Tell students they are going to get a chance to become eco-heroes and work as a team in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge and they might win great prizes for doing so! Review the ground rules for working as a team, if necessary:
    • Listen and include ideas from all.
    • Respect the ideas that are different.
    • When trying to make a decision, include as many people's ideas and thoughts as possible.
    • Give each team member a job that's not too easy and not too hard.
    • Do what you say you will do.
    • Do as much as you can to help your team.
    • Help and support each other.
    • Be supportive, kind and constructive with feedback and communication.
  • They will get to pick an environmental problem that they can impact in their classroom or school, learn about it, make a plan to solve it, carry out their plan, reflect on & extend their plan, and share the results with others.
  • Explain the Challenge to your students, giving them an overview of each step in the process. There are sample projects ideas and resources to help students along the way.
  • Go to the Challenge Process and get ready to change the world!

Support Your Students

There are lots of specific ways you can help your students change the world!

  • Talk with your students about the impact of environmental issues and problems on their lives. We want students to be aware of the importance of making good choices about our world without scaring them, especially with issues they have no control over. The goal of the Challenge is to help them make positive changes, not to overload them with negative information.
  • Help broaden your students' view of the community by encouraging them to visit different areas where environmental issues may exist, talking with community experts and taking advantage of all of the resources that your community offers.
  • Be a green role model by reducing your classroom's ecological footprint and creating an environmentally-friendly classroom setting.
  • Require students to apply core curriculum skills and concepts in meaningful ways while implementing the Challenge.
  • Utilize the resources on this site. This site is filled with information about environmental issues we face and ways to create sustainable changes. You can have your students read and summarize e-books, watch videos, and conduct virtual labs to learn more about the environmental issue they plan to address.
  • Involve all of your students in each step of the Challenge. For example, have students work to write and present plans that they think will best address the environmental issue researched by the class. Work as a whole group to combine the strongest elements of the proposed plans to draft the final plan.
  • Structure implementation of the class plan so that all students play a role in creating sustainable change.
Siemens Logo Discovery Education Logo