Inspired Frisco ISD Students win $30,000 Grand Prize in the 2017 Lexus Eco Challenge

Inspired students from Frisco ISD recently gathered at Park Place Lexus Plano to share their passion in science, technology, engineering and math as the grand prize winner in the high school category for the Lexus Eco Challenge. The “Second Chance Band” from Lebanon Trail High School was the top winner among the 30 finalists in the national competition. LexusEcoChallengeWinnersInstruments

To address landfills filling up with trash across the United States and the increase of ocean trash pollution, “Second Chance Band” made an impact in their community and worldwide with a unique upcycling project using trash and other discarded objects to create instruments.  The team’s focus was to educate the community of landfill stress and demonstrate the value for trash through a culture of upcycling and re-purposing. During their research, the team learned how different instruments are made and the materials required.  They found that these materials could all be found in a landfill.  The team collected old

Lexus Eco Challenge WinnersThe Grand Prize-winning team earned $30,000. The team divides the grand prize: a $7,000 grant for the school, a $3,000 grant for the team’s teacher advisor, and $20,000 in scholarships for the students to share. This prize money, in addition to $10,000 the school previously was awarded, brings the total prize money to $40,000.

2017 Lexus Eco ChallengeMore than 75 handmade instruments were made, including a violin from a tin lunch box and discarded violin neck, small drums from a Styrofoam box, old x-ray films and a broken picture frame, and flutes from found metal pipes. Using social media, the team was able to reach the global community and share their how-to videos.  Making even more of an impact, the team sent the recycled instruments to areas in need around the world, from Latin America to the Middle East.

In its tenth year, the Lexus Eco Challenge is an educational program and contest that inspires and empowers young people to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. High school and middle school teams nationwide define an environmental issue that is important to them, develop an action plan to address the issue, implement the plan, and report on the results.  To learn more about the program and the winners visit:


The 2016-2017 Lexus Eco Challenge had more than 1,700 student participants. Thirty-two middle and high school teams were selected as finalists for the Lexus Eco Challenge, each claiming a $10,000 prize to be shared among the team, teacher, and school.  For the final challenge, all 32 finalist teams were tasked with reaching beyond their local community to inspire environmental action.  The teams communicated their innovative ideas to a wide audience in the last round, broadening the reach of their work to people outside of their communities and even further abroad.