Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge®



2020 Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge®  will be held February 1, 2020 at Newell Elementary.

UNC Charlotte’s Center for STEM Education
 hosted the first Autobell®  Car Wash Creek Challenge®  for CMS schools on June 4, 2016.  The Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge  was designed for elementary students to explore and demonstrate their knowledge of local waterways.

The Autobell®  Car Wash Creek Challenge was held in conjunction with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and is sponsored by Autobell® Car Wash.  Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge is a water-related science program used at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) elementary schools.CMS students learn about regional water quality issues and their role as stewards of this important resource. The University’s Center for STEM Education developed the curriculum and activities for the event and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute created Creekshed fact sheets for 21 major creeks in Mecklenburg County.  

Teams of fourth and fifth grade students learn about local water resources, quality and management. Participating Classrooms are provided with maps and pamphlets detailing various Mecklenburg County creeksheds.  Autobell®  Car Wash Creek Challenge®  awards prizes to participants and the winners of each contest.

2020 Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge® will be held February 1, 2020 at Newell Elementary School.

Please click here for registration.

Registration is $250.00

2020 Schedule of Events - click here

Please click here for Participant forms.

Event Descriptions - Event rules sent upon registration.

Water Wheel
Event Description:This event will consist of an challenge experimental portion and a test. Both will be completed in the allocated time period. Students will test their water wheel and while waiting will complete the testing portion of the event.  The challenge is to build a water wheel that efficiently converts the flow of moving water into useful energy.  You will need to design and construct a water wheel. You will be awarded for a creative design and using innovative materials. Successful creative designs mean the wheel will convert the flow of water into energy using innovative materials.  NC Essential Standards Alignment:  3.P.1, 3.P.2, 3.E.2, 4.P.3, 5.P.1, 5.P.2, 5.P.3

Groundwater/Water Stewardship
Event Description: This event is comprised of 2 parts. 

  • Part 1: Students will bring a prepared poster on any water quality service/stewardship activities they may have engaged in during the school year in or outside of the classroom. This may include any of the following: stream cleanup, storm drain marking, park/greenway cleanup, school ground cleanup, STEM/parent night presentations on water quality and any other water related event or activity.    
  • Part 2: Students will construct a 3-dimensional groundwater model. They will use the model to demonstrate and discuss topics included on the Groundwater Model Concepts/Topics list.

NC Essential Standards Alignment: 1.L.1, 1.L.2, 2.L.1,3.E.2, 3.L.2, 4.L.1, 5.L.2

Water Words
Event Description: Team members will take turns drawing representations for scientific terms or concepts from across all Essential Standards for Elementary Science.  NC Essential Standards Alignment: Vocabulary found throughout K-6 Science & Math Essential Standards

H2O Ecosystems
Event Description: Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of the following local, freshwater ecosystems: Piedmont streams, Upland Depression Swamp Forests, Alluvial Floodplains, and Beaver Ponds.  NC Essential Standards Alignment: 1.L.1, 1.L.2, 1.E.2, 3.E.2, 4.L.1 5.L.2

Aquatic Experts
Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of living organisms that are found in and along the edges of streams in Mecklenburg County.  In 2020, the focus will be on trees/shrubs, mammals, benthic macroinvertebrates.  Teams will be required to identify species from the 2020 Species List and know about their habitat and conditions required for growth.

NC Essential Standards Alignment: 1.L.1, 1.L.2, 1.E.2,2.L.1, 3.E.2, 3.L.2, 4.L.1, 5.L.2

Water Cycle
Event Description: Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of the following as they relate to the hydrologic cycle: parts of the hydrologic cycle, rainfall, erosion, flooding, sanitary and storm water sewer systems, and the impacts of extreme weather events (drought, hurricanes).  NC Essential Standards Alignment: 1.L.1, 1.L.2, 1.E.2, 3.E.2, 4.L.1 5.L.2

Water Wizard
Event Description: Students will answer a series of questions dealing with water quality locally and nationally, Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s system of creeks and the related historic and geographic material. Each school will select a student team of 2 to take part in the Water Wizard Quiz Bowl. Material will concentrate on: geography (locating major creeks and rivers, river basin watersheds) history, water quality science, and key terms. NC Essential Standards Alignment: 1.L.1, 1.L.2, 1.E.2, 3.E.2, 4.L.1 5.L.2


Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge® February, 23, 2019 - list of winners.

Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge® February, 24, 2018 - list of winners.

Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge® March 4, 2017 - list of winners.

Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge June 4, 2016 - list of winners.