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TWO NORTH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FINISH SECOND IN NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COMPETITION

North County High School students Luke Andraka and Dana Lunkenheimer today were named runners-up in the Siemens Corporation’s “We Can Change the World” challenge. They will split the $25,000 prize for their project, which called attention to and attempted to provide a solution for the negative environmental impact of ghost crab traps in Maryland and around the world.

In addition to the individual prize, their school will get a $2,500 school grant to further “green” initiatives.

Ghost crab traps are those traps that are left behind by crabbers, but continue to snare crabs and other sea life without ever being attended. It is estimated that millions of crabs die annually in these lost or abandoned traps. The students “attacked the problem on three fronts; public outreach, law policy, and reinventing the common crab trap to make it cheaper for watermen and safer for animals,” according to their project summary.

Andraka and Lunkenheimer are both seniors in North County High School’s STEM program. They were mentored by North County High School STEM teacher Joe Pfistner.

The contest was open to all United States high school students in grades 9 through 12. A team from Conyers, Ga., won first place in the competition.

The winning projects can be found at www.wecanchange.com.