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Eco-savvy students win $10,000


West Middle School students’ project to reduce plastic in the cafeteria by making edible utensils won a $10,000 first prize in the air & climate category of the Scholastic Lexus Eco Challenge.

Of the winnings, $7,000 will be split evenly among team members, $2,000 will go toward the school’s science program and $1,000 will be split by advisers Justin Vande Pol and Ben Lacey.

Because of their win, the team is invited to participate in the contest’s final challenge: “Battle of the Winners.” They are brainstorming a new project that addresses an ecological issue, Vande Pol said.

The contest awards 16 prizes of $10,000. For the final challenge, two $30,000 grand prizes and eight $15,000 first-place prizes will be awarded.

Related article: Have your fork and eat it too

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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