HERNDON, VA. (Dec. 7, 2009) – Illustrating their passion for addressing the climate change issue on a global scale, 30 lower, middle and high school students from around the world have been named winners of the Students Speak! Countdown to Copenhagen Contest, hosted by ePals, Inc. (www.epals.com), in partnership with Conservation International’s "Team Earth" campaign (www.teamearth.com).  These winning submissions will be hand-delivered to world leaders attending the Copenhagen Climate Conference this month.

 

The Students Speak! Contest was designed to provide world leaders, scientists and other influential dignitaries a representation of what students think about climate change.  ePals asked students around the world to address these leaders in the form of a song, poem, speech, presentation, or video, and encouraged students to answer questions such as:

 

– What would you say to world leaders about climate change?

– What actions would you ask them to take?

– What would you want them to know about what students think?

– What matters to you about climate change, forests, energy, and global cooperation?

 

Ten winning entries were chosen in each age group category (ages 5-10, 11-13 and 14-18).  Of these 30 winning entries, 15 were chosen as overall winning submissions.  To view a list of the top 30 winners, including the top 15 winners overall, visit www.epals.com/teamearth/climatechangecontest.

 

"We are so impressed by the caliber of work submitted by students around the world to the Students Speak! Contest," said Elizabeth Fish, director of community for ePals, Inc.  "All of the winning entries were reflective and empowering, and we know the world leaders visiting Denmark this week will consider these suggestions and questions carefully."

 

Earlier this fall, ePals joined national consumer brands Dell, SC Johnson, Starbucks, and Wrigley, and three non-profit organizations, Conservation International, Rocky Mountain Institute and Prince’s Rainforest Project, to announce the formation of "Team Earth," a global sustainability movement.  The Team Earth Focus Area on the ePals Web site (www.epals.com/teamearth) offers an interactive, safe focus area for students worldwide to engage in competitions, voice their opinions and get involved.  The Students Speak! Contest encouraged students, parents and educators to countdown to Copenhagen with the help of free resources on sustainability efforts available on the ePals Team Earth Focus Area.

 

Outside of the contest, students can get involved by joining "Team Earth," getting their classrooms on the map, reviewing resources about important environmental issues, and uploading user-generated content to highlight ideas about how they will help save the rainforest.  To date, students from more than 115 countries have signed on to be a member of "Team Earth."

 

"This tremendous outpour of support by students around the world to initiate better sustainability efforts has been wonderful to watch," said Julie Blackwell, senior director for Team Earth.  "The decisions our world leaders make today will affect this student population in the future, and student participation in ‘Team Earth’ shows that students around the world not only understand these issues, but are passionate about finding the right answers soon."

 

A pool of educators and members of Conservation International evaluated entries on the thoughtful selection of the issues, overall effectiveness of delivery, the quality of the content, creativity, technical quality, and adherence to the contest’s format guidelines.  All submissions were uploaded to the ePals Team Earth Focus Area in one of three formats:  a one-minute or less audio or video file, a 200-word submission, or a 7 slide or less PowerPoint Presentation.  To view submitted entries, visit www.epals.com/teamearth/climatechangecontest.

 

For more information about ePals, visit www.epals.com.

 

About ePals, Inc.

Founded in 1996 and merged with In2Books® in 2006, ePals offers K-12 students and teachers around the world a safe environment for building and exchanging knowledge based on protected connectivity tools, evidence-based curricula and authentic, collaborative learning experiences.  The ePals Global Community™ (www.epals.com) is the largest online community of K-12 learners, enabling more than half a million educators and millions of students across 200 countries and territories to safely connect, exchange ideas, and work together.  The company’s mission is to support lifelong learning through collaborative experiences that empower and inspire.  ePals is especially committed to enabling academically rigorous educational opportunities in economically disadvantaged environments worldwide through the ePals Foundation – provider of In2Books, the company’s flagship literacy e-mentoring program.

 

About Team Earth

Convened by Conservation International, Team Earth will unite businesses, non-profit organizations, scientists, educators, individuals, and children in an international collective action campaign to address the most pressing environmental issues facing humanity.  Guided by the wisdom of a blue-ribbon panel of the world’s leading scientists, Team Earth is designed to harness the power of social networking and global outreach to incite action and create momentum around efforts to address the great challenges of our time.  Team Earth’s initial collective action campaigns will focus on saving forests as a tool to slow climate change.  Watch for further rallying cries around energy use, fresh water, and the way we consume.  Team Earth’s founding partners include Dell, Harrah’s, SC Johnson, Starbucks and Wrigley.  Other corporate partners include Marriott International and PepsiCo China.  Along with Conservation International, other non-profit partners include Rocky Mountain Institute and Prince’s Rainforest Project.  Team Earth’s global online education partner, ePals, reaches 2.5 million registered users and millions of students in more than 200 countries and territories.

 

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