Eco-savvy students win $10,000

From left, eighth-graders Tannis Brummel, Zach Jeruzal, Logan Coller, Allyson Pitsch and Serenity Metzger are introducing edible utensils to the West Middle School lunchroom

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 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 and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


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