NEEF Announces Winners of 2020 Climate Superstars Challenge
December 03, 2020

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 Climate Superstars Challenge, an online environmental education contest presented by NEEF, Samsung, and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program.

From October 19 to November 13, middle school classrooms throughout the United States completed daily learning tasks geared towards environmental literacy and energy efficiency. Classes that completed at least seven tasks, including taking the ENERGY STAR® Pledge, were automatically entered into a drawing to win one of five Samsung Flip 2 digital flipcharts for their classrooms.

To help educators tackle the uncertainty of this school year, NEEF revised the Climate Superstars Challenge by creating and updating tasks that could be performed online or in-person, as well as extending the deadline for completing tasks by two weeks.

The contest drawing was held on November 21, with five winners selected to receive a free Samsung Flip 2 digital flipchart and stand for their classroom.

“Samsung is proud to continue to build on our Climate Superstars partnership with EPA and NEEF, despite the hurdles we have all faced in 2020,” said Mark Newton, head of corporate sustainability for Samsung Electronics in North America. “We are incredibly impressed with dedication from the teachers and students across the US, whether completing the challenges in-person or through virtual classrooms.”

Building on the success of last year’s program, this year NEEF provided additional resources to help educators better incorporate the Climate Superstars Challenge into their daily lesson plans whether in-person, online, or in a hybrid learning environment. The new Climate Superstars Educator Guide helped provide context for each task, offered lesson suggestions, and provided additional information on related subject matter.

"Working with NEEF, and despite today’s challenges, we have been able to further enhance the educational experience for even deeper engagement on this critical environmental issue,” said Jill Vohr, team lead communications for EPA’s ENERGY STAR Labeling Branch.

In addition, NEEF opened the Climate Superstars platform a week early to give educators time to become familiar with the program’s online interface, participate in discussions with other educators, and ask any questions before the challenge began.

“We are distance learning because of COVID-19, and I actually found it advantageous to use the Climate Superstars Challenge for some of my asynchronous work as well as for some live class time warm-ups,” said Karen Weir-Brown, a science teacher at Junction Avenue K-8 School in Livermore, California. “The video links and questions made wonderful discussion board activities for my students!”

Despite the difficulties of teaching during this uncertain time, many educators reported that their students were excited by the program’s variety of tasks and challenging subject matter.

“My students enjoyed the [Climate Superstars] Challenge and learned a lot from it,” said Stephanie Fletcher, a science teacher at Ionia Middle School in Ionia, Michigan. “They are not exposed to a lot of information involving human impacts on the environment in science class. They didn’t realize climate change caused so many problems and were eager to help come up with solutions.”

The full list of 2020 Climate Superstars Challenge winners can be found below.

  • Elizabeth Gallaher, Clay County Middle School, Clay, West Virginia
  • Samantha Barry, Canarelli Middle School, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Jacqueline Propst, Pendleton County Middle/ High School, Franklin, West Virginia
  • Sara Aiello, Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy, Norristown, Pennsylvania
  • Karen Weir-Brown, Junction Avenue K-8 School, Livermore, California

Climate Superstars will be back next October! Sign up to receive updates on next year’s Climate Superstars Challenge registration dates and resources to help you include the Challenge tasks into your lesson plans.