AI for the Environment Challenge: How AI can Help Save the Planet


+400 Points

Addressing environmental sustainability and harnessing the power of AI are key challenges for today's youth. Our world's future depends on the participation of every young person. Past generations haven't quite managed to fix these issues – in fact, they've added to them – but could it be that teenagers hold the key to sparking change? Join the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, and other companies, who care about using AI for the good of all.

In this Challenge, you'll explore the question:

What ideas do you have for using AI to address environmental issues?

Note: This Challenge is still available to complete to earn points and add to your resumes!! The prize money was awarded in the past to the following winners.

HealthcareEarn Points!
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Patrick McGovern - White Background

Skills you'll develop

  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Social Awareness


Your Challenge

The AI craze is taking over the world, popping up in unexpected places, like tackling environmental problems. In this Challenge, you’ll explore the question:

What ideas do you have for using AI to address environmental issues?

You have the power to save the planet! Dream up a sustainable AI-powered solution in any of these three categories: a revolutionary product, a fresh business concept, or an eco-friendly marketing campaign.

Share your ideas by creating a 3-5 minute video pitch! Win big $$$ if your submission is selected.

Looking for inspiration? View submissions from past KnoPro winners.

Get to Kno the Process

Before you get started you might be wondering how this works. KnoPro Challenges are divided into five phases. These steps are designed to help you explore the problem and develop a solution. Select the + buttons to learn about each phase.

Future-Ready Skills and Careers

Get ready to jumpstart your career and impress future employers. Beef up your resume by including critical future-ready skills and letting the world know that you participated (maybe even won) a challenge sponsored by the McGovern Foundation. Explore some career examples. Select each tab to learn more.
Future Ready Skills

Future-Ready Skills

This Challenge is a great opportunity for you to develop those in-demand job skills - use these buzz words in your resume, LinkedIn profile, job cover letter, interview, etc.:

  • Problem solving: You're developing a solution to an important problem.

  • Communication: You're going to share a video pitch with professionals.

  • Collaboration: You're working with a team or at getting input from mentors.

  • Social Awareness: You're learning about an important issue.

  • Creativity: You're using your imagination for a unique solution to the problem.

  • Initiative and Self-Direction: You're doing this on your own or in a small group.


Future Careers

The future workforce needs you! Check out some exciting careers, talk to people, explore, seek internships or jobs in that field, and uncover the educational requirements for a career of interest.

  • Climate Change Analyst: Uses AI to model and predict climate change scenarios

  • Waste Management: Implements AI-driven systems for waste collection and recycling processes

  • Wildlife Conservation Technologist: Uses AI to monitor and protect endangered species with camera trap data and wildlife movement tracking

  • Green Building Architect: Uses AI to design sustainable and energy-efficient buildings

  • Environmental AI Entrepreneur: Starts their own company to develop AI-driven solutions for environmental sustainability, such as eco-friendly products

There are a lot more careers!

Three Approaches: Your Choice!

One important part of The KnoPro Challenges is choosing the type of solution you plan to create (in a group or solo) and ultimately pitch to the judges. Check out an example of each of your choices: a product idea, a new business concept, or a marketing campaign. You can also get inspiration from all the winning projects.

Flip the cards to help you decide which approach you may want to take. Later in the Challenge, you'll choose ONE approach.


Product Idea

Product Idea

Get creative and come up with a new product idea that addresses the problem. This might be an app, a game, or a consumer product, for example. The possibilities are endless! You’ll write a design brief to plan your product, and ultimately create a “prototype” to pitch to the judges.

Business Concept

Business Concept

Imagine a unique business idea that addresses the problem. This might be a for-profit or non-profit venture, an online platform, or an in-person experience/pop-up shop, for example. The possibilities are limitless! Write a business plan, and then create a fun way to share your business idea with the judges.
Marketing (1)

Marketing Campaign

Marketing Campaign

Design an exciting and catchy marketing campaign that addresses the problem and inspires people to act! The campaign might be a viral social media video, a series of emails, or a live event, for example. You’ll write up a marketing plan and then create some "assets" and pitch your idea to the judges.

KnoPro Tools to Help You

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Student KNOtebook

The Student KNOtebook is a tool to help you keep track of your research, thoughts, and ideas. While you don't have to use this optional tool, it's a helpful way to stay organized. Throughout the Challenge, keep an eye out for KNOtebook hints and suggestions to record in your KNOtebook.

To get started, make a copy of the Student KNOtebook slides or use the PDF Version

mentor feedback

Get Help from Mentors

Want some extra help? Real professionals, who created the Challenge, are standing by to answer your questions, hear your ideas, and give you feedback! They want to help you win the Challenge!

You might ask a question about the topic, or you might ask how you could improve your solution, or you may want to show your video pitch to them, etc.

Educator Resources

TEACHERS: The resources below may be helpful for you. Visit the Resources page for more.


Plunge into the subject and emerge as a pro!