The OurEcho Challenge is a STEM competition that empowers students to take a closer look at biodiversity in their communities. Students will first identify threats to local ecosystems and then propose solutions to help preserve, protect, or repair those natural resources. The OurEcho Challenge teams have been hard at work, hosting biodiversity events in their communities and engaging their peers. We are thrilled to see how far they’ve come.

So, where are they now?

  • Team Algae Biofiltration from Windermere Preparatory School hosted a Science Research Day alongside Headwaters Science Institute. During the event, over 150 students were tasked with evaluating the impact of environmental health on an ecosystem, particularly their school campus at WPS. Students conducted environmental sampling of soil and bodies of fresh, brackish, and saltwater to determine how ecological perimeters influence the environment.
  • Team Habitat Hotels from Bednarcik Junior High School kicked off hosting community workshops to encourage citizens to build their own “habitat hotels” to enhance biodiversity in their own backyards!
  • Team Springtails has launched a website to educate others on the importance of biodiversity. This new website showcases Team Springtails’ amazing photos and videos they continue to capture. Visit their website to learn more.
  • Team Crayfish hosted a group of Oak Park residents and Oak Park Unified School District students to build 50 Artificial Refuge Traps (ART) to capture invasive crayfish from Medea Creek. For more information about Team Crayfish’s work, or to get involved in the crayfish removal effort, please visit their website.
  • Team Aquabotics from Bednarcik Junior High School competed at this year’s FIRST Robotics World Championships after winning the State Championships with the Inspire award (the top award given.) The 2022 FIRST Championship joined thousands of students for the ultimate celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and innovation. The event empowers FIRST teams around the world to collectively reimagine a path forward and invent the future of transportation.
“I will always be grateful to EarthEcho for helping me start on my path of using robotics to clean ponds and making me see that like a domino tapping another, each person can make a difference.” – Jensen, Team Aquabotics Member

This year, the OurEcho Challenge is open to students in the US (Grades 5 – 9) and the UK (Years 6 – 10). The competition is open for entries from November 3, 2022 – March 3, 2023. Explore these webpages and resources to learn more about how to submit your students’ plan to change the world!