Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge®



2019 Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge®  will be held February 23, 2019 at UNC Charlotte.

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 managment. 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.

2019 Autobell® Car Wash Creek Challenge® will be held February 23 2019 at UNC Charlotte.

Please click here for registration.

Registration is $250.00 [Each school will receive a kit with supplies and printed Creekshed Information].

Each school has the opportunity to signup and participate in The Autobell® Car Wash Fundraising Program. Click here for more information. You can sell more tickets than needed to cover the registration fee of $250. You can presell tickets via signup click here for more details.

2019 Schedule of Events - click here. Coming soon.

Please click here for Participant forms.

Event Descriptions - Event rules sent upon registration.

Model Dam
Event Description: Challenge: The challenge is to build a structurally efficient model dam that holds water and can release controlled amounts of water.  The dam may be of any design and constructed from any materials. In fact, you will be awarded for using creative designs and innovative materials. Creative designs mean the dam will function and not fail and innovative materials may be used for containment.  NC Essential Standards Alignment: 3.P.1.1, 4.L1.3, 5.P.1.1

Event Description: This event is comprised of 2 parts. 

  • Part 1: Students will bring a prepared poster on their school watershed/creekshed and any water quality service/stewardship activities they may have engaged in during the school year in or outside of the classroom. May include stream cleanup, storm drain stenciling, park/greenway cleanup, school ground cleanup, STEM/parent night presentations on water quality any other water related events/activities, etc.,    
  • Part 2: Students will construct a 3-dimensional model of a watershed. They will use the model to explore water pathways, discuss point source and non-point source pollution and other concepts listed below.  NC Essential Standards Alignment: 3.P.1.1, 4.L1.3, 5.P.1.1

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
Event Description: Teams will be assessed on their knowledge of living organisms that are found in and along the edges of streams in Mecklenburg County.  In 2018, the focus will be on herbaceous plants, birds, reptiles and amphibians.  Teams will be required to identify species from the 2018 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, 3.E.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, 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.