Dow and WE Announce 2018/2019 WE Are Innovators Challenge Winners

Eleven schools have also received innovation grants totaling $15,500 to support students as they turn their innovative ideas submitted through the challenge into action.

Originally Published by Dow.

Dow and WE, a family of organizations that makes doing good, doable, announced the winners of the 2018/2019 school year WE Are Innovators challenge. WE Are Innovators was created by Dow and WE to inspire the next generation of diverse innovators and change makers to learn about global issues, and through the application of chemistry and science, bring to life innovative ideas to solve some of their community’s most pressing challenges. This year, we are excited to award 28 student winners and their teachers with the opportunity to go on a culturally immersive ME to WE service-learning trip to Kenya. In addition to the trip winners, 11 schools have received innovation grants totaling $15,500 to support students as they turn their innovative ideas submitted through the challenge into action.Challenge trip winners have been awarded a service-learning trip to Kenya with ME to WE this summer where they will have the opportunity to gain hands-on volunteer experience. A few examples of 2018/2019 trip winners include:

  • Working in New Technologies (FIRST Robotics Club), Mexico City, Mexico, for their work creating a go-kart that provides easier accessibility for individuals in their community with varying physical disabilities.
  • World Learning Algeria (Energy and Housing Team), Birkhadem, Algiera, for their creation of energy efficient geodesic dome housing that lowers risk impact from natural disasters through the house structure and lowers environmental impact by using clean, renewable energy sources.
  • Laylah, Hayah International Academy, Cairo, Egypt, for her work in creating a light timer that saves energy in homes.
  • Damrongratsongkroh School, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand,for their work to decrease food waste from pineapple peels, reduce pollution and prove usefulness of bio-cellulose sheets (fermentation process occurring from pineapple peel that can aid in water absorption).
  • Madeleine, Dow High School, Midland, MI, for her leadership in her school’s GO GREEN club, whose goal is to reduce single-use plastic use and waste within their high school.
  • Jacob and David, Pottstown High School, Collegeville, PA, for their work developing a supply chain between their school and local grocery stores to redirect unused food to local shelters rather than the landfill.
  • Jennifer, Brazosport High School, Freeport, TX, for her work creating a school supply drive to tackle the issue of excess waste of pens, paper and pencils each year.
  • Haylee, Plaquemine High School, Plaquemine, LA, for her work to reduce her high school’s carbon footprint by eliminating single-use foam containers and creating a dishwashing system among the students to clean re-usable trays.

Additionally, below are samples of schools that won grants to aid in bringing student projects to life:

  • Jefferson Middle School (Midland, Mich.) for the redesign in their school’s waste/recycling system.
  • Fleetwood Elementary School (Collegeville, Pa.) for the construction of keyhole gardens to provide nutritional food in their cafeteria.
  • Freeport Intermediate School (Freeport, Texas) for developing an aquaponic gardening system, using wind and solar energy.
  • MSA West Academy (Plaquemine, La.) for creating insulation in pet shelters to save energy.

“We are proud to partner with WE to show students that they don’t have to wait until they become a chemist or an engineer to address global and local challenges. They can innovate to drive change right now,” said Rob Vallentine, president of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation Board and director Dow Global Citizenship. “At Dow we believe it is critical that we inspire a steady pipeline of competitive future leaders with inclusive mindsets and hearts for service – leveraging science skills and innovation to change the world.”

“We are thrilled to announce our second group of WE Are Innovators winners,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder, WE. “It is incredible to see the innovative sustainable solutions that these young change-makers have ideated in response to challenges in their community through the use of science and technology that will leave a positive footprint in their local community and beyond.”

2019/2020 WE Are Innovators challenge opens its applications this fall, with the following resources available:

  • Educational modules focused on sustainable innovation, circular economy and nature, food waste, energy and housing, and transportation solutions;
  • Student and instructor mentorship from WE and the Dow STEM Ambassador program;
  • The opportunity for student participants to win innovation grants for science programming in their schools,
  • The opportunity for high school challenge winners to go on a culturally immersive ME to WE service-learning trip.

To sign up your school or group for next year’s WE Are Innovators Challenge, visit

Watch Dow CEO Jim Fitterling’s Fireside Chat with Fair360, formerly DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson.


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