5/4/2018 3:54:22 PM
Project Polar Bear Winners
Project Polar Bear, a five-month-long competition from Polar Bears International that challenges teams of young people to design and carry out long-lasting community projects that reduce CO2, has announced the winners of this year’s contest.
“I'm so proud of this next generation. It’s clear by the actions they’re taking that they care deeply about our environment,” says Sara Monson, Project Polar Bear coordinator. “Their commitment and passion are so encouraging.”
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. At the end of the competition they submit a report describing their current work and future plans. The top three high-scoring teams receive a grant of $1000, $750, and $300 to continue or expand their projects. This year, 13 teams completed projects in the United States, Spain, England, Scotland, and Canada.
The top-scoring teams were:
Osborne Polar Protectors
The team created an educational video highlighting how climate change is affecting the polar bears and ways that everyone can make a difference. They held a Polar Bear Ball fundraiser, which raised over four times their goal! The team had great support from their school and their parents and did a great job in making decisions and looking at the bigger picture. They plan to have another ball and work with their local garden club to educate people about how growing our own food can help polar bears.
$750 grant, Daina Isard Team
Olesa de Montserrat, Spain
This team partnered with the Aquarium of Barcelona. They hatched plankton and learned about its importance to the polar bear food chain and to the production of oxygen. They wrote and performed a theater play about climate change involving polar bears, jellyfish, plankton, an Arctic tern, and humans. They have future plans to turn this into a book.
$300 grant, Surface 71
West Palm Beach, Florida
The team conducted multiple beach clean-ups, made art with the trash they collected, and used the art to communicate the impact that plastics make on the environment. So far, they have collected 5,000 pounds of trash. The students are getting involved with their local and state governments to eliminate plastics in their community. Their future goals include eliminating straws, installing refillable water stations, and installing Blue Tubes at local beaches, which are used for beach clean-ups.
“These kids are our future. Their compassion for polar bears and the environment is noticed by classmates, teachers, parents, and friends. I have no doubt that they will continue to inspire those around them,” says Monson.
PBI would like to recognize the other teams that completed Project Polar Bear 2018: RBHS Eco Club from Riverside, Illinois; X-TREME Eco Justice League @ J.G. from Scarborough, Ontario; ICEE’s from La Crescenta, California; ThundeCAPS from Raytown, Missouri; AM Southland CAPS from Raytown, Missouri; Troop 438 from Morganville, New Jersey; The Polar Squad from Birmingham, England; The Polar Explorers from Glasgow, Scotland; Colfax Project Polar Bear from Springdale, Pennsylvania; and Loudonville Linguists from Albany, New York.
We also checked in with past winners of Project Polar Bear. The Water Savers from Maryland Zoo won a grant for Project Polar Bear last year. They encouraged zoo visitors to switch from using single use plastic bottles and created signs throughout the zoo encouraging water conservation. They just installed their last water bottle filling station at the zoo! Great job, Water Savers!