Middle School

2010 Middle School Winners

Siemens, Discovery Education and NSTA are pleased to announce the National Middle School Winners of the 2010 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge!

First Place - MICHIGAN

  • Team Name No1Idling
  • Location Novi, Michigan
  • School Novi Middle School
  • Students
    • Raj Raina
    • Yash Sathe
  • Teacher/Mentor Abhinav Raina
  • Description No1IDLING discovered that in their school many parents arrive more than twenty minutes before school gets out, often letting the engines of their vehicles run idle while they are waiting. Idling not only wastes money since gas continues to be used up, but it also causes damage to the environment by releasing pollutants into the air that can cause several diseases. The team decided to work towards reducing the amount of vehicle idling by parents and other drivers who come to pick up kids from school and thus help change the world, beginning with their school and community. The team posted flyers and distributed stickers and brochures informing parents of the effects of idling. They also distributed pledge sheets and sent out a news bulletin to all parents. Their data showed the campaign worked and with fewer cars idling, there is less carbon dioxide being released into the air. Their goal is take the campaign to the state level and change the laws to make Michigan a "no-idling" state.
  • Team PhotoView Their Proposal

Second Place - IOWA

  • Team Name Drug Disposal Informants (DDI)
  • Location West Branch, Iowa
  • School West Branch Middle School
  • Students
    • Kara Fountain
    • Allison Kusick
    • Gabby Salemink
    • Megan Tadlock
  • Teacher/Mentor Hector Ibarra
  • Description The members of DDI knew that almost everyone has some kind of medicine in their home, but most people don't know how to safely dispose of them. They learned that sewage treatment plants are not equipped to remove all types of medicines from wastewater because all medicines break down differently. The project's goal was to reduce the amount of pharmaceuticals polluting local water sources by educating the community about the safest ways to dispose of unused or expired medications. They distributed surveys to get a better understanding of awareness of the problem and used a Facebook page and website to increase awareness. A local newspaper ran an article featuring the medication disposal event organized by the team to provide people in their community with a safe way to dispose of unused and expired medications. The group presented their findings to legislators and parents and continue to increase awareness of the best ways to dispose of medicines.
  • Team PhotoView Their Proposal


  • Team Name Lex Green Clean
  • Location Lexington, Massachusetts
  • School Jonas Clarke Middle School
  • Students
    • Rani Iyer
    • Isha Laad
  • Teacher/Mentor Vidhya Iyer
  • Description After visiting the dry cleaners, Lex Green clean noticed a stench so powerful it irritated their noses and eyes and gave them nausea. They wondered what the smell was from and found out that dry cleaning uses a chemical called perchloroethylene (Perc), a very harmful chemical that is labeled by the EPA as a likely human carcinogen and is toxic to the nervous system. The chemical is also harmful to the environment-Perc effluence spilled or mishandled could ruin the environment for generations to come. An alternative is wet cleaning. The team tested and compared water discharge for wet cleaning and regular household detergent to see if wet cleaning discharge is at least as safe as household detergent. Wet cleaning was better for the environment and cleaned just as well as drycleaning. The team worked to convince dry cleaners to switch to wet cleaning and gave presentations to town officials and at the library to raise awareness about Perc and introduce people to eco-friendly wet cleaning. Survey results showed that people were likely to switch to wet cleaning.
  • Team PhotoView Their Proposal
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