Local high school students beat out 2000 contestants to win grand prize in the 12th annual Lexus Eco Challenge.

The challenge started by asking the students to focus on the environment and how they could improve it through alternative farming techniques.

According to a press release, this years high school winners, of the nation wide contest are the 'Aquapals from Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, NY. The Aquapals and teacher advisers Tricia Muraco and Maribel Pregnall focused on utilizing aquaponic farming techniques to reduce polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).'

Through their studies, the students created a 35-page manual for aquaponic farming. The students then shared that information with their fellow students at their school, local farmers and went on to establish five aquaponic systems here in the Hudson Valley but with the insightful use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) the students were able to impact and help farmers in eight other countries.

When Arlington High School was selected as a finalist, the school earned $10,000 to be shared among the team, teachers and school. When the 'Aquapals' earned the first place win, the next prize was an additional $30,000. $7,000 went to the Arlington High School, $3,000 grant to be shared between the teacher advisers and the remaining $20,000 to be divided by the student team for scholarships.

For more information about the contest or the winning schools, click here. 

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