Munster `PVC Patchers` compete in environmental challenge - FOX 35 News Orlando

Munster `PVC Patchers` compete in environmental improvement challenge

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Seven Munster High School juniors earned $10,000 scholarships and grants as part of an environmental-improvement challenge, and are in the running to win a $30,000 grand prize.

The Lexus Eco Air and Climate Challenge is a competition that tasks students with learning about the environment to come up with a way to make it better.

The Munster students studied how vehicle emissions affect the air, and studied cars to figure out how to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases discharged by any one car. They conducted rounds of testing at an Indiana emissions test facility.

The teens learned that by simply changing the PVC valve regularly, vehicles that would have failed the test would pass. If drivers keep an eye on their PVC valves, they can significantly reduce the amount of pollutants their cars release into the air.

"What is so amazing about this project is the ambition and brilliance it took to come up with it," Munster science teacher Patrick O'Neill said. "It's hard to believe a group of high school students can reimagine the operation of cars and find a way to reduce emissions, but that's exactly what they've done."

Joe Yurek, Akhilesh Mishra, Akash Shah, Colin Richter, Luis Dominguez, Saam Mojtahed, and Tommy Bolanowski call their team the "PVC Patchers."

The PVC Patchers were among eight other teams who qualified to be in the running to win one of the two $30,000 grand prizes for the Lexus challenge.

"The Lexus Eco Challenge gives teens the opportunity to change the world, starting with their community," Lexus group vice president and general manager Mark Templin said. "With the Final Challenge of this competition we want to see how they can use their skills and grand ideas to improve the environment in the world at large. We look forward to seeing what they can accomplish."

They'll find out who wins in March.

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