University of Southern California
Edison Challenge


Edison International

Talke the Edison Challenge

USC Wrigley Institute

What's new?

Please visit for information about Edison Challenge 2010.

What is the Edison Challenge?

The Edison Challenge is an exciting way for teams of teachers and students in grades 6-12 to explore environmental science. This science competition, created by Edison International and the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, also offers a series of professional-development science workshops for participating teachers.

Teams consisting of one teacher and six students from the same school will create environmental science projects to compete for great prizes.  There are two competition levels, one for middle school (grades 6-8) and one for high school (grades 9-12).

Teachers who register for the team competition will be invited to attend a series of workshops that will focus on environmental science and will take place within the district regions as well as on Catalina Island.

Potential registrants must be in Edison's service territory. If you are, sign up to take the Edison Challenge!
Please visit Edison's Challenge site:

What’s in it for me?

  • First-place teams win a whole week at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on beautiful Catalina Island, filled with science, snorkeling and kayaking!

  • Second-place teams win a four day field study expedition to Edison’s Big Creek Hydroelectric facility in the natural and secluded setting within the Sierra Nevada Mountains!

  • Teachers from the top five teams will receive a cash prize for classroom supplies or professional development.

  • Teachers that participate in the science workshops will also receive a stipend for each workshop attended (or service credits may be available).

What’s the competition about?

The competition will consist of projects based on the theme of “Energy and the Environment.”
The Edison Challenge project components will include:

  1. A new science lesson plan for younger students 
  2. A community service project
  3. A proposal for a research project (high school only)
  4. A creative presentation documenting one of the project activities (poster or multimedia video)
  5. A written portfolio of all the project activities.

Your project should focus on one or more of the following environmental sciences:

  • Energy transfer - How is energy transferred through wind, ocean currents, or water cycles?
  • Energy conservation and energy efficiency - Why is this important, and what are some news ways we can conserve?
  • Environmental protection and sustainability - What can we do to protect natural habitats and endangered species? What is global warming and what can we do about it?
  • Renewable energy resources - What are the benefits of hydroelectric, natural gas, solar, wind, and nuclear energy?
  • Air and water quality - What affects the quality of our air and water, and what are your ideas to improve this quality?
  • Alternative transportation - What are the benefits of electric and biodiesel vehicles?  What other alternative fuels are available?

For a detailed description of the required project components and more project topic ideas, click here.

NOTE: K-12 teachers within eligible schools not registered with a team will also be invited to attend the science workshops if space is available. Click here for more information.

Important Student Project dates:

October 8 to 29, 2009 Open registration for student teams and teacher/advisor

November 2009 Project topics due
  January 22, 2010 Permission forms due
  January 29, 2010 Mid-Program Rally (Location TBA)

March 8, 2010

Final projects due
(Must be delivered to the office of the Wrigley Institute located on the University of Southern California campus, by 5 pm)

  March 23-30, 2010 Project judging and finalist interviews
  April 17, 2010 Recognition Event location TBA)
(all students, teachers, and parents invited; winners announced)
  May 2010 Winning team trips to the High Sierra Nevada Mountains
  June 2010 Winning team trips to Catalina Island

Important Teacher Workshop dates for 2009-2010:

  December 12, 2009 Teacher workshop #1 at University of Southern California
  January 23, 2010 Teacher workshop #2 location TBA
  February 20, 2010 Teacher workshop #3 location TBA
  April or May, 2010 Teacher workshop #4 on Catalina Island
(includes snorkeling, kayaking - all equipment provided)

Past Competition years: Team projects, judging, recognition event and trips

2009 Trips:
Eastshore Elementary School Blog
Gabrielino High School Blog
Santa Monica High School Blog
Sycamore Canyon School Blog

2008 Student Competition Results

2008 Trips:
Gabrielino High School Blog
Sycamore Canyon Middle School Blog

2007 Student Competition


Past teacher workshops:

2006-2007 Teacher Workshops

2007-2008 Teacher Workshops

For more information contact:

Vanessa Knutson
Edison Challenge Program
USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies
3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF 410
Los Angeles CA 90089
(213) 821-3924