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$50,000 in Teacher Grants and $150,000 in Student Cash Prizes Available in Youth Innovation Competition

Los Angeles — (PR Web) An international youth innovation competition is offering more than $200,000 in grants and prizes to teachers and students.

Each year, The Paradigm Challenge invites students aged 4 to 18 to use kindness, creativity, collaboration, and STEM skills to solve a real-world problem. This year, students are challenged to create new ideas to reduce waste in homes, schools, communities, and/or around the world.

More than 50,000 students participated in last year’s Paradigm Challenge, which focused on preventing fatalities and injuries from home fires. “The number of youth who entered our inaugural Challenge to help save lives truly was inspiring,” said Jeff Richardson, Project Paradigm’s founder and CEO. Student solutions included inventions, community events, mobile apps, videos, posters, and songs.

The Grand Prize and an all-expense-paid patent application was awarded to the 1st place winners in the 15-18 age division for their life-saving invention called the “Fire Mitt.” The Fire Mitt is an oven mitt that quickly and easily unfolds into a fire blanket that can be deployed to put out a cooking fire.

Emma Spencer and Scott Johnson, the Grand Prize winners, believe the ability to invent is not a special gift, but something that is in all of us. “Anyone can become an innovator,” noted Spencer, “You just have to put your mind to it.”

Teen inventor Alexis Lewis, who has spoken at The White House and is the narrator of the competition’s video lesson plan, agrees, “Inventing is just problem-solving that results in a physical solution. Kids’ fresh perspectives on problems can lead to solutions adults would not have considered.” The Paradigm Challenge’s “6 Steps to Solve Any Problem” video is, Lewis noted, “a great way to teach kids that they already have what it takes to solve problems and make a difference in the world.”

“The Paradigm Challenge is a terrific opportunity for educators who are looking for motivational project-based learning activities for their students,” explained Ashley Greenway, 2016 Allen Distinguished Educator and Georgia STEM Laureate. “The Challenge is particularly appealing because of its engaging online video lesson plans and supporting materials.”

The 100 Finalist teams with the best ideas will win cash prizes of up to $100,000. Their supporting teachers will win cash grants up to $5,000. In addition, the top team in each age category will win a trip to Los Angeles to attend The Paradigm Challenge’s black-tie prize ceremony. Last year, teams came from as far away as New Zealand and India to attend the event.

There is no cost to enter the competition. The deadline for entries is May 1, 2017.

About the Paradigm Challenge: The Paradigm Challenge is a new annual competition created by Project Paradigm in collaboration with the American Red Cross and supported by a coalition of partners, including Youth Changing the World and the National Youth Leadership Council. The theme of the competition will change annually.