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(Oswego SD308 photo)


Oswego, Ill. (July 14, 2020) — Bednarcik Junior High School is excited to announce that three of the ten teams who have been selected as finalists in the national OurEcho Challenge competition are from its school: Prairie Protectors, Teach Aquabotics and Team Pollinator Paper.  

The OurEcho Challenge is a STEM innovation competition that empowers middle school students from across the country to take a closer look at biodiversity in their communities.  Students first identify threats to their local ecosystems and then propose solutions to help preserve, protect or repair those natural resources. “The EarthEcho team is proud and excited to introduce these dedicated, emerging youth leaders and their mentors,” said EarthEcho International founder Philippe Cousteau, Jr.  “Their projects represent the hope and ingenuity of a generation who are working to protect and restore the natural resources we depend on for every aspect of a healthy and sustainable society.”

From Bednarcik, the Prairie Protectors are promoting rain gardens in communities to help restore some of the natural ecosystems.  Team Aquabotics is working on designing and building a robot that will remove plastic waste that is collecting in areas such as retention ponds.  Team Pollinator Paper is promoting the restoration of pollinator populations by planting seeded paper to create pollinator gardens at home.

The ten finalist teams in the OurEcho Challenge each receive a stipend to develop their prototypes and final presentations before competing for three project grants, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000, to turn their ideas into reality.  Entries will be presented virtually to a panel of judges in August as part of EarthEcho’s 5th annual Youth Leadership Summit.  

Good luck to all three teams from Bednarcik Junior High School:  Prairie Protectors, Team Aquabotics and Team Pollinator Paper!  For more information about the teams and their projects, please go to:  https://www.earthecho.org/ourecho-challenge