The Young Changemakers Tackling Environmental Issues

May 21 2024

The 2024 Slingshot Challengers are using their voices and ingenuity to tackle the most pressing environmental issues in their communities.

The Slingshot Challenge is a global video challenge for youth ages 13-18 that is supported by the National Geographic Society and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation that aims to identify and support the next generation of problem-solvers, advocates, and stewards of the planet. 

The awardees took a close look at their communities, identified problems and designed innovative solutions — showing how to implement what they learned along the way into tangible actions for protecting our planet and its people. The awardees are also invited to participate in National Geographic Society’s annual Explorers Festival where they get the opportunity to connect with and learn from National Geographic Explorers and continue on their path toward making the world a better place. 


An app fighting food waste

After meeting at a summer coding camp, a group of teens worked together across Switzerland, California, Maryland, Hong Kong, and North Carolina to develop an app that helps track expiration dates to minimize food waste at home, give recipe suggestions for food preparing to expire, and where to donate unused food.

A local effort to protect a unique local species

In Churumuco, Michoacan Mexico, a special local bird, the green macaw, is threatened with habitat loss and extinction. A group of local youth are working together to monitor the species, reforest the region, and educate other students at local schools in their community about how to take action to protect the macaw and its habitat.

A tree planting robot

After watching the green areas in her region of Ericeira, Portugal get smaller and smaller, Marta Bernardino invented a tree planting robot that helps landowners reforest even the most hard-to reach areas of Portugal's mountainous terrain.

Saving bees and other urban pollinators

In Tapachula, Mexico, Evelyn Pinot has founded an organization dedicated to revitalizing urban spaces, turning them into sanctuaries for pollinators, and cataloguing and restoring native flowering plant species in every nook and cranny of schools, public spaces, and homes.

A STEM learning kit for clean energy

In Onitsha, Nigeria, Chidiebere Anigbogu sees the seeds of future innovation beginning at an even younger age. A teenager himself, Chidiebere created the TerraBox, a kit that allows young children to explore concepts of clean and renewable energy through play and creativity, inspiring a new generation of environmental changemakers.