The ECO (Explore, Create, Observe) Challenge is a yearly program in which junior high and high school students work from September to April to address real-world environmental issues (e.g. deforestation, loss of habitat, plastic pollution, etc) using a variety of media, ranging from visual arts to fashion.
The ECO Challenge kicks off on September 25 with a Career Day, where professionals from various science and engineering fields related to the environmental issues come and talk to the students about their careers. In 45-minute sessions, students learn about real-life careers, but also about the topics of the challenges. New this year, professionals from the media will start workshopping challenges with the students, so that all will leave the career day with a starting point for their project. Teens then spend the next several months designing and prototyping solutions to the problems they learn about in a way that makes sense to them. Students select unique and authentic ways to contribute ideas and solutions, and return to Thanksgiving Point on April 15 for the Showcase Day, where they have the opportunity to present their solution to a panel of judges. Prizes are awarded to support schools’ environmental science programs.
We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker on Career Day will be Dr. Sujatha Sampath, Senior Engineer and Process Owner at IM Flash Technologies.
Dr. Sujatha Sampath is a Condensed Matter Physicist with research experience in interdisciplinary areas of nano-scale physics, bio-physics & advanced materials. Her research focuses on understanding molecular and nanoscale structure and their impact on functional properties in natural and engineered materials. Dr. Sampath has worked in US National Laboratories applying synchrotron x-rays and neutron radiation to study molecular phenomena. In current role at IM Flash Technologies, she’s working on cutting edge R&D in semiconductor memory technology.
Participate in one of the following Challenges:
Through an original art piece, showcase the challenges migratory species face and why we should care about them.
Plan and carry out a project to research and monitor snowpack conditions in your watershed and implement a water saving initiative in your school or community.
Cooking with Local Foods:
Use at least 2 ingredients grown in a community or urban garden to create an original recipe
Fashion and Textiles:
Design and model an outfit, accessory or textiles made entirely out of repurposed materials. Do not dye or paint materials. All entries must be appropriate for family audiences.
Make a video that addresses light pollution in Utah, from causes to action.
Research bioenergy and the challenges it faces and design an original functional mechanism to solve the problem using the engineering design process.
Games to Play:
Create a game that demonstrates the causes of air pollution, the effects air quality has, and solutions to prevent or stop air pollution.
Create a performance that teaches the dos and don'ts of recycling. All disciplines welcome including vocals, instrumentals, spoken word, dance, acting, comedy etc.
Use your creative writing skills in a variety of ways including but not limited to writing a children’s book, a short story, a poem etc. to teach and inspire us to become better earth stewards.
Design a t-shirt that showcases the native plants of Utah and what we can do to protect them. Design must be for the front OR back of shirt, judges will determine placement. One color design with “ECO Challenge at Thanksgiving Point 2019-2020".
Submit one registration form for your school BEFORE beginning work on challenge categories. Note: Registration forms sign a school up to receive ECO Challenge updates. Individual challenge category entry forms will be mailed to registered schools prior to the registration due date.
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