The Climate Innovation Challenge (CIC) aims to broaden the conversation among today’s youth, helping them envision tomorrow’s climate-changed planet with hope.

Addressing both mitigation – causes and contributing factors – and adaptation – effects and impacts – is key to an effective approach to addressing climate change.

The conversation about climate change has focused largely on systemic causes and impacts, which can feel insurmountable for all of us and especially for children with little agency to make needed changes. By including adaptation in CIC, CAVU is bringing more balance to the conversation and sharing a hopeful view of the future that creates pathways for children to engage productively.

Working on adaptation projects provides an opportunity for children to approach climate change from a new perspective and develop solutions that create local, concrete, visible improvement in quality of life.

The planet needs an all-hands-on-deck approach to successfully manage the impacts our communities are already experiencing. Adding adaptation and resilience to students’ climate response toolkits is an essential step to ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to take part in addressing the challenges presented by climate change.

Success from CIC's Inaugural Year!

In 2020 Students debuted


Videos and Presentations

CIC on TV!

Bernalillo, Santa Fe, San Juan, & San Miguel

Counties Represented



Program Sponsors

Students Interviewed by

Statewide Radio

Listen Here!

The Curriculum

The CIC program uniquely puts students in the driver's seat and asks them: what solutions can you think of to protect yourselves, your home, your family, or your local ecosystems from climate change effects?
Participating students and teachers will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of how to evaluate various small and broad-scale climate adaptation measures in their communities, a sense that while climate change is a serious issue, human ingenuity—and their ideas specifically—can ensure we continue to thrive and survive.

The Challenge

To help children share their projects and ideas across differing communities and ages, the annual Climate Innovation Challenge prompts students to produce three-minute videos or presentations.
Projects define specific climate vulnerabilities or impacts to places, traditions, values or behaviors and offer a creative adaptation solution.
The submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges for awards at the elementary, middle and high school levels. All submissions are screened during the annual Student Showcase, including a ceremony with monetary awards for first prizes.

Congratulations to the top Prize winners!

Green Rooftops

High School 1st place

Ekaterina Tocheva - United World College


Middle School 1st Place

Laniah Draper, Radfor Ashley, Jr. Valarie Castillo, Hayley Martinez - Ojo Amarillo Middle School

Rain Water Filter

Elementary School 1st Place

Beto Quintana, Sarah Parkers, Melody Leyva, Madelyn Jevertson, Gabriella Duran, and Jordan Apodaca - Amy Biehl Elementary


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