Woodcreek’s ‘Green Bandits’ win $10,000 prize

Student group led vermicomposting effort on campus
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Woodcreek High School’s “Green Bandits” have won $10,000 in the Lexus Eco Challenge for their experiment with worm bins.

The Roseville campus was one of eight high school teams selected nationwide as winners of the first round of the sixth-annual competition, which asks students to define and take action to help solve an important environmental issue. There were also eight middle school winners.

The $10,000 prize will be shared among students, their teacher and the school. Each of the six-member Bandits will get $1,160 for college and teacher adviser Kendra Grinsell will use $1,000 to buy supplies for her classroom. The Woodcreek Nature Center will get $2,000 of the winnings.

The team also moves onto the final round for a chance to win one of two $30,000 grand prizes or one of eight $15,000 first place awards.

“We were thrilled of course and a little nervous because it means we will now progress to the round of 16 with the winners from across the country,” Grinsell said. “That will be some serious competition and we have to come up with a whole new project for it.”

For their project, Woodcreek students investigated vermicomposting, which is the decomposition of organic material with the assistance of worms that speed up the process. They created an action plan and analyzed the results.

The final winning action plans will be featured online at to inspire other students to take action in their local communities.