Innovate to Mitigate engages 8th–12th grade students in a competition to mitigate climate change by designing an innovation that reduces greenhouse gases. Students work in teams to brainstorm an idea and develop and test a prototype solution. They submit a brief video and paper that makes the case for their innovation. The Innovate to Mitigate community of students, teachers, and scientists provide crowdsourced support for teams as they participate.
"[Students] took a 100% responsibility for this whole project, now we had such a good experience with it that I'm thinking about how I'd like to integrate it into the classroom next year, so I am thinking about, what does it mean to do project-based on problem-based learning, long-term projects." — teacher
This year’s Innovate to Mitigate challenge ended in March with great success. Nine teams joined the competition — six teams from Florida, one team from Ohio, and two teams from Maryland. Thirty students participated and they were advised by four teachers.
First prize went to Team Imoto. Participants in the winning team studied the effects of rainwater-produced electricity on the mitigation of climate change.
The Blue Team won second prize with their idea to reduce electricity using Calcium Carbonate paint. Watch their video here.
Third prize went to the Dream Team for their ideas about a closed loop textile industry system to improve wastewater treatment. Watch their video here.
Other submitted ideas included:
How to stop wildfires
A nuclear power campaign for the reduction of fossil fuel emissions
Testing materials for environmentally friendly solar cookers
Encouraging sales of meatless menus with 'Fresh Fridays'
A tote bag recycling awareness campaign regarding the use of plastics
A more efficient, cost-effective compost method
In interviews, teachers endorsed the benefits of participation:
"... what got them hooked in at first was the competition and the competitive nature of it, knowing that they were going up against other teams, there being a prize was also significant in their thinking, but I don't think that's what had the lasting impact on it. I think it was when they actually discovered things that we hadn't read about in the literature, and they saw that they were advancing new ideas in some way. I think that's what was most exciting.”
Join Next Year's Competition!
We’re working to spread the word about the project’s benefits through conference presentations, journal articles, and newslettersand we hope you and your students will join us for next year’s competition! Registration is currently open. If you're interested in joining us, complete this quick survey or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Please share this article with anyone who might be interested in participating. Thank you!