EF Glocal Challenge Winners Announced


2020 EF Glocal Challenge Winners

EF Glocal Challenge Winners Announced

Contest-Based Program Gives Students Real-World STEAM Experience

Cambridge, MA, January 23, 2020 -- The City of Cambridge congratulates the participants of this year’s 2020 EF Glocal Challenge on the theme of, “Water, Water Everywhere, and not a drop to waste...How can Cambridge residents take action to address the Global Water Crisis?”

Eleven teams competed to win the chance to implement local solutions that impact the global water crisis here in Cambridge. Forty students pitched their ideas at the Semi Finals on Tuesday, January 21, where 4 teams were chosen by experts from Cambridge and beyond to compete in the Finals competition. All students then presented again to the public during the Student Exhibition on Wednesday, January 22, where one final team was chosen by the community to present. The five finalist teams were then invited to present to a live studio audience and a panel of expert judges at the Finals, directly following the Student Exhibition. All five Finalists won the competition, earning paid internships and funding to implement their ideas. Additionally, two teams won trips to travel on an EF Tours STEM tour to Panama and Costa Rica this June.

A special congratulations go to the five winning teams from this year’s challenge:

  • Cambridge Freshies: Meatless Mondays in local public schools to reduce water waste from the meat industry. Most of the funding will go towards marketing and it will pilot at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
  • Water Coolers**: Pop up clothing swaps in Cambridge public parks and private open spaces to decrease the amount of water used for fast fashion. Additional amenities include an on-site tailor and local clothing partners.
  • Aquality5: Educational and marketing campaign to educate renters who live in Cambridge neighborhoods vulnerable to flooding the steps that they can take to become more resilient.
  • Pond Protectors: Creating innovative mechanical tools to improve upon existing invasive aquatic species removal products.
  • Faucet Failures**: An app-based game designed for Cambridge Public School elementary students to learn about the global water crisis and its local impacts on pollution and water conservation.

The EF Glocal Challenge was founded by EF Education First in 2012 and is now in its 8th year. The Challenge is a contest-based program facilitated by EF Education First, the City of Cambridge, and the Cambridge Public Schools to help high school students learn critical 21st Century Skills, gain global competence, and receive real-world experience in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Each year, we ask Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) students to solve a challenge locally in Cambridge that has global implications. 

Through the Glocal Challenge, CRLS students are placed in teams of 3-5 students, spend 4 months learning about climate change and water issues globally and locally, and collaborate to invent a creative idea to solve the challenge in Cambridge. They later pitch their idea to expert judges, and the winning student teams receive a trip to Panama & Costa Rica with EF Education First; seed funding from the City of Cambridge to kick-start their projects; and paid summer internships with the City. Additionally, all participants earn 10 community service hours.

“I hope that by funding up to $2,000 for each winning proposal, and providing 25 spring and summer jobs to implement your innovative ideas, we are letting you know how important your work is to the City of Cambridge and how much we appreciate the time you are putting in to help us do our part to positively impact the global water crisis,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale, as he addressed the finalists. “I want to thank EF Education First for its leadership and commitment to this innovative program, and for being a great community partner. We are fortunate in Cambridge that the businesses in our community are not just a physical presence in our city, but they are active members of the community.

Over the next 7 months, students will be paired with experts in the field as they craft work plans, prototype their ideas, and finally, implement their proposals over the summer with the city’s Community Development Department. This internship program was made possible by funding from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program at the Department of Human Service Programs.

** Signifies team traveling to Panama and Costa Rica. 

You can learn more about the EF Glocal Challenge here: www.cambridgema.gov/glocal.