Polar Bears International

Meet the Conservation Ambassadors Board from Chicago, Illinois, the top-scoring team in this year's Project Polar Bear Contest! The team engaged their community by raising awareness about climate change and polar bear conservation.

© Courtesy of Conservation Ambassadors Board

4/26/2017 11:36:33 PM

2017 Project Polar Bear Contest Winners!

You've got to love these kids! On Friday, we announced the winners to our 2017 Project Polar Bear Contest, a five-month-long competition that challenges teams of young people to design and carry out long-lasting community projects that reduce CO2.

“Seeing what these students are capable of doing is very inspiring and motivating. I have no doubt that they will continue to influence the people around them and positively affect our world,” says Sara Monson, Project Polar Bear coordinator.

Monson announced the winners via a Facebook Live event during the People's Climate March Youth Convening in Washington, D.C.—part of a weekend when more than 200,000 people gathered to take part in the Climate March.

Teams from around the world competed in four categories: Energy savings, Transportation, Sustainable Food Systems, and Community Engagement through Art and Advocacy.  

The Project Polar Bears teams track their progress during the competition through photos, research, and on social media. The top three high-scoring teams receive a grant of $1000, $750, and $300, respectively. This year, 16 teams completed projects in the United States, Cambodia, Spain, India, Hungary, New Zealand, and Canada.

The top-scoring teams were:

Conservation Ambassadors Board

Lincoln Park Zoo

Chicago, Illinois

$1000 grant award

The Conservation Ambassadors Board engaged their community by raising awareness about polar bear conservation and its relationship to climate change. Their team consisted of 17 high school students representing 12 schools around Chicago. Over 600 guests attended  an  event they hosted and participated in different activities to show the impact of daily actions on polar bears and sea ice. The event also showcased 30 local artists who depicted their feelings  about climate change and its effect on polar bears.

There was a tie for second place and two teams will split the grant money.

Bilingual.hu Green Team

Budapest, Hungary

½ of $750 grant award

Bilingual.hu Green Team started a school wide recycling program and educated students and staff on how to recycle and why it is important. The team plans to install drinking fountains to encourage using reusable water bottles in their school. The school is ready to take a look at adjusting other aspects of their school and apply to be an officially recognized “green” school by the Hungarian government.  

Teachey Tigers and Polar Bears...OH MY!

Asheboro, North Carolina

½ of $750 grant award

Teachey Tigers and Polar Bears...OH MY! expanded the recycling program in their school. They created videos to be aired during the school’s news broadcast, taught students what can be recycled, and how doing small things can make a big environmental impact. The team also planted herb windowsill greenhouses. The Teachy Tigers plan to build a backyard habitat using repurposed materials. During the process, advisors instilled a leadership ethic in the students and then watched them lead their classmates.

Oregon ZooTeen Conservation Corp

Oregon Zoo

Portland, Oregon

$300 grant award

The Oregon ZooTeen Conservation Corp designed new interpretive activities for the 2017 summer season of the Oregon ZooTeen program focusing on the effects of climate change in the arctic environment.  These activities will be used in regular rotation at the Oregon Zoo to educate guests about climate change and how daily actions can help polar bears.

“All of these teams showed what effective student leadership looks like,” said Monson.  “They had well organized goals, were amazing examples to their peers, and showed sound decision making skills. Congratulations to the winners!”

PBI would like to recognize the other teams that completed Project Polar Bear 2017: Carbon in Cambodia from Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Colfax Polar Bear Club from Springdale, Pennsylvania; Collier Animal Lovers from Brick, New Jersey; Daina Isard School from Barcelona, Spain; Asset Trust from Madurai, India; Oratia Wildlife Warriors from Oratia, New Zealand; Polar Gryphs from Collierville, Tennessee; Rebel Nation from Columbiana, Ohio; Snowflake from Edina, Minnesota; The Polar Express from Collierville, Tennessee; The Solar Bears from Collierville, Tennessee; and X-TREME Great Golden Eco Justice Leagues@Workman from Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

Special thanks also to the Alliance for Climate Education for their support during this program.

We're sure they'll all continue doing amazing work for polar bears and the environment.

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