Samsung and NEEF are awarding $30,000 worth of new technology to Climate Superstars Challenge winners

Samsung Electronics America and the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) are working together to improve the environmental literacy of our nation’s middle school students through initiatives like the Climate Superstars Challenge, now in its fourth year.

“Each year, I am inspired by the commitment of so many teachers and students in completing the Climate Superstars Challenge,” said Mark Newton, head of corporate sustainability at Samsung Electronics America. “Samsung is proud to recognize and reward award-winning classrooms, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with NEEF and the EPA to prepare the next generation of decision-makers to protect and preserve our future world.”

Climate Superstars is an online environmental education challenge presented by Samsung and NEEF in support of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program. During the month of October, middle school classrooms across the country completed assignments focused on energy efficiency, environmental literacy and sustainability. Classes that completed at least seven tasks were automatically entered into a raffle with prizes totaling up to $30,000.


“We designed Climate Superstars to complement teachers’ existing lesson plans on energy and the environment while remaining aligned with the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS),” said Robert Sendrey, environmental education program director at NEEF. “The feedback we’ve received from educators so far has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Jovonne Focacci, a science teacher at the Old Donation School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, appreciated that the program encouraged students to tackle real-world problems. “We live in an area where sea level rise due to climate change is becoming an increasing problem every year,” said Focacci. “I enjoyed hearing how the students come up with their own ideas and solutions to problems they see in their daily lives.”

The competition draw took place on November 7, 2022. Six classrooms were selected to each receive a $5,000 e-voucher to use on new technology for their classroom, courtesy of Samsung.

“Education and environmental literacy are a big part of solving the climate crisis,” he said Leslie Jones, Media and Public Affairs Specialist at US EPA’s ENERGY STAR. “We are very excited about the success of the Climate Superstars Challenge and the commitment of students and educators to protect the health of our planet in the future.”

The full list of award winners is below:

  • Amy Aden Dunn, McLean School of Maryland, Potomac, Maryland
  • Darcie Fregoe, Madison Elementary School, Massena, New York
  • Donita Legoas, AR Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School, Augusta, Georgia
  • Joanne Hockenjos, St. James School, Woodbridge, New Jersey
  • Jovonne Focacci, Old Charity School, Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Tyler Colson, Eva Legard Center for Coastal and Environmental Studies, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

“I loved that the Climate Superstars Challenge was easy to follow and flexible enough to teach to all of my students.” said Tyler Colson, whose social studies classroom at the recently established Eva Legard Center for Coastal and Environmental Studies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is one of the six winners. “We plan to purchase tablets to take with us on our field experiences as we document land loss and environmental changes in southern Louisiana while working on solutions to restore our wetlands and creating plans for environmental justice solutions.”

The climate superstars will be back next October! Sign up for updates on next year’s Climate Superstars Challenge registration dates and resources to help you incorporate the challenge activities into your lesson plans.

For more information on sustainability at Samsung, visit


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