Enter the OurEcho Challenge

Step-By-Step

The OurEcho Challenge empowers middle school-aged youth (in teams of 1-3, with the help of an adult mentor) to become principal investigators in their own biodiversity research. All 2021 entries must be submitted by April 22, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern.

  1. EXPLORE natural resources in your community and region. Use the educator resources to guide students to discover biodiversity in their own backyard. The OurEcho Challenge Guide and Biodiversity Basics Lesson Plan is a great place to start!
  2. IDENTIFY threats to local ecosystems and biodiversity. This will help students to formulate an Action Plan to protect biodiversity.
  3. BRAINSTORM & PROPOSE a solution in the form of a process or prototype to help maintain biodiversity in your community. The Project Planning Worksheet will help guide students. Looking for inspiration? Meet the 2020 OurEcho Challenge winning teams to learn about their projects to preserve biodiversity in their own backyards.
  4. SUBMIT a narrative entry online in the form of a process or prototype. To prepare your team proposal, review the entry form questions ahead of time. When submitting your entry, feel free to upload any supporting visual documents to support your team proposal. Enter the Challenge today! All entries must be submitted by April 22, 2021, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time.




The 10 finalist teams will have from May 7 - June 4, 2021 to draft a final presentation that may include a prototype of their proposed solution. The presentation will also include a budget and timeline for completion. Samples and templates to assist in creating the final presentation, budget, and timeline will be provided for all finalist teams once they are announced.

Each team must create and submit a recording of their final presentation, including any supplemental materials, no later than June 4, 2021. Finalist teams will meet virtually with an expert panel of judges on June 10, 2021 for a question and answer session about their entry based on your recorded presentation.

All team members and mentors must be available to virtually join the Final Event on June 11, 2021, where the winners will be announced to a LIVE virtual audience by EarthEcho founder, Philippe Cousteau. The top three teams will receive $1,000 for third place, $2,000 for second place, and $5,000 for the Grand Prize!

The Fine Print: Be sure that you have read and reviewed the official rules and that parent permission slips for all participating team-members are included with your team’s entry.  For questions or support, please contact OurEchoChallenge@earthecho.org