Previous Finalists


2022 - 2023 School Year

Middle School Category

1st Place - $2,500 School Grant Award

C.A.S.T. Climate Action and Sustainability Team, Rosa International Middle School, Cherry Hill Public Schools

Team Members: Tamara Abboud, Makayla Becker, Thomas Cartmell, Sharon Chen, Samara Feist, Logan Freedman, Lyra Geraci, Leiana Gruby, Jenna Huang, Stella Kim, Claire Li, James Manella, Vasisth Medavarapu, Max Owens, Diya Patel, Ada Rein, Sonia Tyagi

Advisors: Albert Morales & Skye Silverstein

Project Summary:  After learning about habitat loss due to climate change and its impact on the pollinator population, the team proposed a native pollinator garden at their school. Unfortunately, due to school construction projects they were unable to complete the project this year. Not to be deterred from their goal, they produced 200 native pollinator garden kits and distributed them in their community. The team plans to complete the school project next year and continue to raise awareness of the importance of establishing pollinator habitats in their community.

2nd Place - $1,000 School Grant Award 

Carbon Catchers, Howell Middle School South, Howell Township Public Schools

Team Members: Taylor Brennan, Maura Mahon, Joseph Robertozzi, Aksel Tabak

Advisor: Danielle Gianelos

Project Summary: This project focused on planting trees at their school to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. The team reached out to their township’s Shade Tree Commission for guidance on the best trees to plant and secured a donation of 50 trees to plant. Over the next 50 years, these trees will sequester over 650 pounds of carbon dioxide.

3rd Place - $500 School Grant Award 

Edson's EngineersOcean Township Intermediate School, Township of Ocean Schools

Team Members: Nicholas Campo, Jay Desai, Sawyer Ernish, William Suozzo

Advisor: Meghan Edson

Project Summary: This project focused on designing and implementing budget friendly aeroponic systems in their school and homes. Growing plants in a controlled aeroponic system requires 98% less space and 95% less water than traditional farming and can yield crops year-round. They can help address food insecurity caused by climate change driven severe weather and reduce the emissions in growing and transporting food.

High School Category

1st Place - $2,500 School Grant Award 

Bug Power!, Princeton High School, Princeton Public Schools

Team Members: Luisa Buss, Daniela Gonzalez, Diana Gutierrez, Alecxi Jiguán, Mayda Jiguán, Luis Martinez, Elija Meier, Aisling O’Dell, William Ponder, Milton Rodriguez, Samuel Winn

 Mark Eastburn

Project Summary: The team’s demonstration project with black soldier flies shows that it is possible to reduce methane emissions through the productive use of garbage and repurpose the end products into sustainable materials. The insect's larvae can eat many times their own weight over a three-week growth cycle, consuming everything from rotten fish to moldy grains. The frass that they leave behind is relatively clean, nutrient-rich, and can serve as an amendment to soil that helps gardens grow and the larvae themselves make an excellent staple food for chickens, catfish, tilapia, and other animals.  

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2nd Place - $1,000 Grant Award 

Planet-Over-Profit, South Plainfield High School, South Plainfield School District

Team Members: Jawad Aslam, Vishan Budhan, Salma Elgebally, Dylan Jefferys, Melissa Leon-Tamara, Deep Patel, Pari Patel

Advisor: Kathleen Benton & Angela Green

Project Summary: This team’s initiative aimed to tackle the harmful environmental impact of fast fashion through a three-pronged approach: education, action, and application. Fast fashion is a term for inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. Decreasing demand will reduce the significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production, transportation, and disposal. Strategies included presentations at district schools and running Wear-It-Again-Tuesdays, upcycling workshops, and thrift shops. 

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3rd Place - $500 Grant Award 

WHS EnvironmentalWall Township High School, Wall Township Public Schools

Team Names: Madison Brody, Sean Coyle, Emily Gill, Maxim Ilin, Dominick Interrante, Dennis Plewa, Mackenzie Reilly, Ryder Solomon

Advisor: Joshua Tennant

Project Summary: Through community teamwork with a local nursery and the Township Environmental Advisory Committee, this team helped their school transform an overlooked courtyard into a thriving ecosystem. Their project educates the community on native plants, sequesters carbon emissions, and inspires students to connect with nature daily. 



2020 - 2022 Finalists

View the 2020 - 2022 Climate Challenge finalists here.




New Jersey Student Climate Challenge Partners