The 2008-09 edition of the Lexus Eco Challenge is over and high school teams from Illinois and Florida have captured the top $50,000 prizes. The competition is open to teams of middle and high school students nationwide and is intended to encourage them to get involved in projects that help the environment. Teams have to design projects and put them into action. The grand prize winners each receive $50,000 of scholarships and grants for their respective schools.
In Illinois, the Thornbridge biodiesel team built their own diesel processor. They then held a local drive that, instead of collecting the usual bottles, papers or canned food, gathered up waste vegetable oil to use as a feedstock.

The EcoGeeks of Florida decided to help out victims of a hurricane that slammed into Haiti last year with equipment that would help get them back on their feet with less environmental impact. They sent solar ovens and generators to the Caribbean island along with seedlings and recipes for "green cuisine."

[Source: Scholastic]

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