About the FOCUS! Student Climate Changemakers Competition (Grades 7-12):  What is It?

Students in Grades 7-12 studying at Canadian schools are invited to enter the FOCUS! Student Climate Changemakers competition. Changemaking activities can be in any one of three domains: environmental action, inspiring change, and social technology development. We have provided a few examples to suggest differences between the categories but the possibilities are nearly endless. We encourage you to use your creativity, ingenuity, and passion to devise and drive your own changemaking activity. The categories are more specifically defined as follows:

  1. Environmental Action (examples: a community cleanup project, habitat revitalization, urban greenspacing, resource (water, energy, CO2, etc.) reduction initiative, recycling program, etc.)
  2. Inspiring Change (examples: an awareness-raising mural project, a “trashion” show, a ‘Do-It-Yourself  Second Time for the Planet’ project, a flash mob holding banners to raise awareness in a public space, a CO2 thermometer for student impacts at the school, etc.)
  3. Social Technology Development (examples: a video game, an interactive web-based game, an animated vlog, etc.)

Students entering under the “Environmental Action” or “Inspiring Change” categories are required to submit a video (max 5 minutes) or photo series (minimum 10 photos) that tells the story of their amazing changemaking activity. Whether you choose to visually document your project by video or by photo series, a written description explaining the project and its results/outcomes/impacts needs also to be submitted (maximum 10 pages, see below). Social Technology Development projects need to submit a copy of their creation, a single photo of their creation and the written description.

 [NOTE: THE KIMBERLEY FOUNDATION WILL NOT SEEK ANY RIGHTS (INTELLECTUAL OR OTHERWISE), PROFITS, ROYALTIES, LICENSING OR OTHER FORMS OF ENTITLEMENTS FROM THE CREATIONS OR CREATORS ENTERING COMPETITIONS]

What Do I Need to Do to Enter the Competition?

Once you have decided on your Climate Changemaking activity you need to do the following:

  1. Create a project plan
  2. Document the implementation of your project using video or a series of photos
    • Videos must be in MP4 or MOV formats and a maximum of 5 minutes in length, not including titles sequences, credits, or citations. They may be originated on any kind of camera, including cellphone, and cannot use stock footage.
    • Photo Series must include a minimum of 10 high resolution photos and should be incorporated into a presentation format (Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.), or be accompanied by a list of titles and clear explanation of each image.
    • Social Technology Applications must upload a working copy or protoype of their creation or provide a url to access their technology creation with instructions on how to use / play it. In addition, applicants must also submit a minimum of 1 high resolution photo of the creation. [NOTE: we will not make the technology accessible to the public in any form whatsoever at any time unless this is the express written desire of the applicant nor will we ever seek any rights (intellectual or otherwise), profits, royalties, licensing or other forms of entitlements from the creators of the technology.]
  3. Create a written overview of your project (maximum 10 pages; 11 pt font). There is no prescription for what this document should look like, but you must capture in it at least the following:
    • need for the project (gap or issue you are trying to address)
    • original project objectives and target audience or end-user
    • if a creation (DIY project or Social Technology Development) you must include a description of the materials used or technical specifics (coding language, system requirements, etc.) of the technology
    • lessons learned during implementation/creation
    • overview of results/outcomes/impacts
    • you can include photos, graphs or any other form of expressive communication (i.e. cartoons, graphics etc.); whatever allows you to creatively and effectively convey your story. These do not count towards the maximum 10-page limit of your written overview.
  4. Get the Consent Forms signed for each member of your project team and save in PDF format.
  5. Get a Photo Consent Form signed for anyone under 18 who appears in your video / images that are not part of your core team and save in PDF format.
  6. If you created a Social Technology you MUST also have each member of your team complete the Ownership Declaration Form.

What are the Rules?

There are a few rules for entering the contest.

Click here to find out the specific guidelines and rules to enter.

How will Submissions Be Judged?

There are four essential criteria that will be used to evaluate the Changemaker Projects submitted to the FOCUS! Student Climate Changemakers competition:

  • Overall Creativity
  • Extent of Impact
  • Quality and Delivery of Message
  • Clarity of Project depicted in visual and written submission

Judging will occur in two stages:

  1. Stage 1: Submissions will undergo an initial evaluation against the judging criteria and a sub-set will be long-listed for extended consideration.
  2. Stage 2: Long-listed submissions will be evaluated by the Board of Directors of the Kimberley Foundation. As part of the review process, the Foundation, at its discretion, may undertake confidential independent review of any submission to fully understand the technical aspect of any project or its potential impact.

The Board retains final decision-making authority and all decisions are final. The Board also reserves the right to limit the number of prizes or to not make an award if the quality of submissions is deemed insufficient to merit recognition.

I’ve Never Engaged in a Changemaking Activity Before, How Do I Begin?

We are thrilled you are interested in engaging in a Changemaker Activity. The key to a successful changemaking activity is to (i) follow your passion, (ii) set reasonable expectations and limits on what you can accomplish, (iii) consider creating a team to learn together, and (iv) check out some of the amazing examples of other youth changemaking activities below.

  • Explore the websites that show climate change issues, facts, cool innovations, and organizations doing interesting work on our website under the “Learn About Climate Change” tab.
  • Check out some of the amazing examples of environmental changemaking activities by students on the BC Green Games site https://www.bcgreengames.ca/getting_started). (Oh, and if you are a student in BC, you can also enter their great competition too! We don’t limit students on where they enter the project. The more exposure you get for your great Climate changemaking idea, the better for all of us)
  • Check out great websites or books such as:
  • And most importantly, just give it a try. You’ll learn something, have fun, and who knows, maybe kickstart your future!

Any Questions?

Check out our FAQ for answers to some of the most frequent questions.

If you have any other questions, please direct them to Ms. Sue Roppel, President, Kimberley Foundation, at info@kimberley-foundation.org.   We thank you for your interest in the Focus ! Student Climate Changemakers Competition.

Who Can Apply?

Students Enrolled in Grade 7 – Grade 12 at Canadian Schools

FOCUS! Student Climate Changemakers Competition: Students enrolled in Grade 7-12 at a Canadian school are eligible to enter either as an individual or group submission.  Group submissions may be made by collectives of between 2 and 5 students, but prize money must be shared evenly among the team members.

What are the Prizes?

There are great prizes to be won.

Prizes will be awarded to the best changemaking project that meets all four essential criteria (overall creativity, extent of impact, quality and delivery of message, and clarity of project in visual and written submission) in each of the following three categories as follows:

  • One prize of $2,500 for the individual/team + $2,000 to their school for Excellence in Environmental Action
  • One prize of $2,500 for the individual/team + $2,000 to their school for Excellence in Inspiring Change
  • One prize of $2,500 for the individual/team + $2,000 to their school for Excellence in Social Technology Development

* The prize given to the school of each winning team/individual must be used towards art, sciences, climate change initiatives or teaching equipment, or for library acquisitions.

When and Where Do I Submit my Entry into the Competition?

All materials must be submitted through the FOCUS! Student Climate Changemakers portal on the Kimberley Foundation website by no later than 11:59 pm PST on April 14, 2020.

What Language Do the Visual and Written Submissions Have to Be In?

All materials submitted (written description + video or photo series) must be produced in either English or French.

Select Language