Disney's Planet Challenge program offers students all around the country a chance to help their environment. With Disney offering national prizes and state prizes. Participation is free and registration is now through December 17, 2010.
For the project students must address an environmental issue and change it. Beth Stevens,vice president of Environmental Affairs at the Walt Disney World Company said, "It is our goal to inspire a sense of environmental stewardship in kids as the inheritors of our planet, and education is a critical component of that." The challenge has decided to expand it's doors to grades 6-8 and even reaches to an elementary level of grades 3-5.
Disney also is providing funding for classrooms that have an idea but might not be able to find the funds to perform it. Disney has teamed up with DonorsChoose.org which is a charity that will send "citizen philanthropists" to classrooms in need. Disney is in turn providing $250,000 worth of grant which goes to 50% of the funds needed for classrooms.
Disney will be using two video sources to help make students aware of the environmental issues that they can help impact.
And I am sure your wondering...What are the prizes?
Disney will provide a trip to Disneyland for the entire elementary national prize winners and a $200,000 dollar grant to the middle school national prize winner. And both will have their own published Marvel Comic.
When I first read this article I was worried as to how the schools were going to get the money to fund their project. But Disney had an answer before I could get too upset. It's great to know that not only is Disney promoting students, not to mention at such a young age, to help their environment. They are also so dedicated to the initiative that they are willing to donate company dollars to help the students get started. As they said in the article, they are trying to promote young people about what is going on in their world and how they can fix it. And I think this is a perfect way to do it.......not to mention you could win some pretty cool prizes!
Check out this video of the announcement of last years winner!!! (Mickey makes an appearance too!!)