Announcing the winners of Be the Change 2012

May 18, 2012

We are pleased to announce the 3 teams receiving first place in the student global health competition, Be the Change:

  • High Five (Glacier Peak High school)- This team founded a club at their school to develop lessons in science and global health for younger children. Through an interactive, creative assembly presentation, they teach elementary school students about global health issues, such as access to safe drinking water.
  • Educational Advocates (Seattle Central Community College)- Recognizing that deafness is a significant health issue in many developing countries, this team designed a plan to build a school and educate the deaf population in their native country of Somalia.
  • The Spider Trio (University of Washington)- Utilizing a specific breed of spider, Evarcha culicivora, that prefers to prey on female mosquitos likely to be carrying the malaria parasite, this team proposes an integrated approach to malaria vector control. By introducing these tiny, jumping spiders in the Lake Victoria region of Kenya, this project relies on natural predator-prey relationships to reduce transmission rates of malaria.

In addition, seven teams received Honorable Mentions, with projects including innovative water filtration systems, HIV disclosure & information services, an invention to address infant deaths from hypothermia, and a sustainable business employing Ethiopian women recovering from fistula repair.

The winners were announced aboard the Be the Change Celebration Cruise, courtesy of Argosy Cruises, where semi-finalist teams from around the state, project advisers, judges, and other global health experts gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the student teams.

Across Washington state, over 250 students participated in the inaugural year of Be the Change, proposing their ideas to improve global health. Teams of three or more students were asked to select a specific global health issue and submit their ideas to address the problem.

Join us for Groundswell: A Night for Global Health on July 14th, where the winning teams will be recognized on stage. Melinda French Gates will keynote this free, 3,000-person event at McCaw Hall to celebrate global health successes happening worldwide and to galvanize a call for the Seattle community to rally around improving the health of mothers and babies.