Challenge to Propose Solutions for Local Ecological Threats to Biodiversity

Philippe Cousteau Jr.’s nonprofit EarthEco International is inviting submissions from youth aged 13–16 to compete in the 2024 OurEcho STEM Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to identify local ecological threats to biodiversity and propose solutions to protect or repair them.

Young leaders in the US can enter the OurEcho Challenge individually or as a team of up to three peers, with or without an adult teacher or mentor. Helpful resources are posted on the challenge website. These include the OurEcho Challenge Guide with an overview of the challenge, key concepts surrounding biodiversity, and activity starters; a Lesson Plan on the basics of biodiversity for building solutions to foster and protect this element of our world; a Project Planning Worksheet that guides young leaders through the process of laying out their findings and ideas to build a thoughtful submission; and a Scoring Rubric that shows teams how their submissions will be evaluated. Although teams can explore these free resources from the OurEcho Challenge, their use is not required to enter. Entries can include supporting documents, such as pictures, drawings, and videos.

EarthEcho will select 10 finalist teams in April 2024 to compete for project grants to bring their proposals to reality. Three individuals or teams will be awarded grants of $1,000 (third prize), $2,500 (second prize), or $5,000 (first prize) to develop their projects.

This is the fourth year of the OurEcho Challenge. Applicants are encouraged to read and watch videos about winning projects from 2020, 2021, and 2023. An FAQs section provides details about the challenge rules.

Deadlines: Submissions from individuals or teams of up to three will be accepted through March 1, 2024; finalists will have from March to May 2024 to produce a short team video and draft a final presentation that may include a prototype of their proposed solutions.

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