THE PROTECT WHAT’S NEXT CHALLENGE
Protect What’s Next is a youth empowerment and retail marijuana prevention program from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that is built on youth’s belief that using retail marijuana before age 21 could get in the way of achieving their goals. In February 2017, the State is launching The Protect What’s Next Challenge to encourage middle school students to think about their goals and how using retail marijuana can get in the way of achieving them. Here’s how the program works:
- In mid-January, The Protect What’s Next Challenge kits are delivered to every freestanding middle school serving only sixth to ninth grade students in Colorado. The kits include Challenge Cards, each featuring three unique challenge options, to distribute to every student.
- Throughout the month of February 2017, schools compete by completing the most student challenges. Schools with the highest student participation have a chance to win $10,000!
- Students participate by taking a photograph/video of themselves accomplishing a challenge and then sharing it to Instagram or uploading it to PWNchallenge.com with #PWNchallenge and their school-specific hashtag.
- Students who complete challenges can win individual prizes from their school.
Videos about protecting whats next
Sign up to participate or learn more
What happens next?
After you sign up, we’ll contact you to confirm your school’s student enrollment, individual student prizing, and your school’s preferred hashtag for submissions. The Protect What’s Next Challenge kit will be sent to schools in mid-January to prepare for the start of the Challenge on February 1, running through February 28, 2017. Beginning February 1, participating schools will distribute a Challenge Card to each student to kick off the Challenge Month, and encourage them to complete challenges. For some extra support, we’ll be sending weekly updates with each school’s progress, as well as tips on how to engage and motivate your students.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions not addressed below, email [email protected]
When is the Protect What’s Next Challenge Month?
The Challenge runs from February 1 to February 28, 2017.
What does this program cost?
It’s FREE! There are no fees for you to participate or to receive The Protect What’s Next Challenge materials. CDPHE is covering the costs.
How does a school join the Protect What’s Next Challenge?
For a school to participate and be eligible to win the $10,000 prize, it must sign up by January 26, 2017. All schools will receive a free kit containing all the materials needed to implement the Challenge, and participating schools will also receive a package of $10 gift cards to be used for individual student prizes. Click here to sign up now.
What does the Protect What’s Next Challenge kit include?The FREE Protect What’s Next Challenge kit has everything you need to implement and promote the Challenge in your school. The kit includes:
- Promotional posters and mirror clings to place throughout the school.
- Challenge Cards for every student (Additional challenges can be found at PWNchallenge.com)
- Digital files to help you create additional promotional materials.
- Instructions on how best to implement the Challenge.
What is a school expected to do to participate?
Schools must decide whether they want to participate in the Challenge by January 26, 2017 in order to be eligible to win the $10,000 prize and to receive the $10 gift card student prizes. Click here to sign up now.
Once a school has decided to participate, it is responsible to:
- Educate teachers, staff and parents about The Protect What’s Next Challenge.
- Use the materials in the kit (posters, mirror clings, cards, etc.) to promote the Challenge and build excitement.
- Identify one or more student ambassadors to help run or promote the program throughout the Challenge Month.
- Distribute a Challenge Card to every student in the school.
- Encourage student participation throughout the month. Make it a fun, engaging and educational experience!
- Create mini-Challenges within your school, such as competitions between grades or between groups within specific grades.
- Build momentum by promoting the potential $10,000 school prize. Keep students motivated by giving updates on how your school is performing compared to other schools.
- As added incentive for your students, each school that signs up at ProtectWhatsNext.com/signup by January 26, 2017 will receive a pack of $10 gift cards (up to $400 worth, depending on your school's size) to be used as rewards for students participating in the Challenge. Reward students individually, or as groups – whatever works best for your school. We'll also provide a log sheet to keep track of all gift cards given away. Schools will be required to mail the completed log sheet back to Cactus Communications using a pre-paid envelope that will be included in your gift card package.
- Review the weekly emails from CDPHE that provide ideas on how to keep students engaged, and for updates on where your school stands in the competition.
- Reinforce that it’s important for youth to set and accomplish their goals, and how underage retail marijuana use can get in the way of the things that really matter to them.
- Direct students to ProtectWhatsNext.com to learn more and to engage with the Goal Getter, an interactive tool that helps youth identify and accomplish personal goals.
What if a school doesn’t want to run the Challenge for the whole month?
It’s up to your school how long you want to run the Challenge, whether it’s a few days or for the entire month. But in order for your school to win the $10,000 prize, you’ll need to achieve the highest student participation as a percentage of your student enrollment during the Challenge Month. So the more challenges completed, the better your chance of winning!
We've designed the Challenge to require very little time or effort from your school's administration and staff – just hang the promotional materials, hand out the Challenge Cards and make announcements that keep your students engaged and motivated!
What are students being asked to do?
Students are asked to complete quick, unique challenges using our Challenge Cards. Each card has three challenges that a student can choose to complete. There are more than 150 challenges available, so if they don’t like the options on their card, they can visit PWNchallenge.com for additional options.
Encourage students to photograph or video themselves completing their challenges and then upload their footage to Instagram or at PWNchallenge.com. On Instagram, students should use the #PWNchallenge hashtag, as well as your school’s unique hashtag. Using your school’s hashtag allows us to track how many challenges are completed at each school.
Students who share their photos/videos are helping their school compete for the chance to win $10,000, which you can use to improve your school however you’d like!
Students are encouraged to visit ProtectWhatsNext.com to engage with the Goal Getter, an interactive tool that helps youth identify and accomplish personal goals. The site also educates youth on the health effects and consequences of using retail marijuana before age 21.
Do students have to complete challenges at school?
No. Students aren’t required to complete their challenges at school. In fact, many of the challenges are specifically designed to be completed outside of the school environment.
Do students have to participate?
No. Participation is completely voluntary.
I’m nervous about our students entering a 'competition' where they have to take photos or videos. What about student privacy?
We understand the importance of maintaining student privacy. Students are not required to participate. If they do choose to upload a photo/video at PWNchallenge.com, the only information they need to provide is their school name. In addition, anything uploaded to PWNchallenge.com will not be made public or used for any promotional purposes.
Students who choose to submit their challenge photos or videos via Instagram will be asked to use the #PWNchallenge hashtag and a school-specific hashtag to track participation. If a student has a private Instagram account, we WILL NOT be able to see the photo or video that is uploaded, and therefore cannot track their participation. We may choose to share the video or photo posted to a public Instagram account to promote The Protect What’s Next Challenge on the Protect What’s Next social channels or website.
Please note that Instagram restricts anyone under the age of 13 from having their own account. We encourage students under age 13 who don’t have an Instagram account, or who would prefer not to post on social media, to submit their challenges at PWNchallenge.com.
How does prizing work?
Schools that register for the Challenge here are eligible to receive prizes for their school and their students.
Students who complete challenges have the opportunity to win $10 gift cards that will be distributed by their school. It’s up to each school to choose how, when, and to whom it wants to distribute these prizes. Schools are also encouraged to give away additional prizes such as branded school gear or a free lunch.
Schools have the chance to win big, too! Four schools that have the highest student participation as a percentage of their student enrollment will each win a $10,000 prize to use to improve their school as they see fit. A school may achieve more than a 100 percent score if their students complete more challenges than the total number of students enrolled at the school.
How will a school know how it’s doing compared to other schools over the month?
We will communicate weekly with the participating schools to update how they’re tracking against other schools of the same size. Schools will be tiered in the following categories based on their student enrollment: less than 250 students, 250-499 students, 500-749 students, and 750+ students.
When will a participating school receive prizes for its students?
Schools that register to participate in the Challenge will receive their package of $10 gift card prizes by late January 2017.
How should schools award individual student prizes?
It’s up to each school how they distribute student prizes. Potential ideas include recognizing students who are seen completing challenges, incentivizing youth ambassadors who promote the Challenge among peers, or using prizes to award in-school competitions (ex: grade versus grade, or groups within specific grades).
How will we confirm the correct student enrollment for schools?
When a school registers to participate in The Protect What’s Next Challenge, the school will be asked to confirm its total number of enrolled students.
Will there be enough Challenge Cards for all of the students at every middle school?
Yes, every Colorado middle school serving only sixth through ninth graders will receive enough Challenge Cards to distribute to every student.
Will schools receive communication from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) during the Challenge Month?
Yes, CDPHE will communicate weekly with participating schools to update how they are tracking against other schools of the same size (less than 250 students, 250-499 students, 500-749 students, and 750+ students) and to share ideas on how to keep students engaged.
Is this a marijuana prevention program?
Yes. The Protect What’s Next Challenge is one element of the larger Protect What’s Next youth retail marijuana prevention campaign from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Protect What’s Next is a comprehensive media campaign showing how retail marijuana use before age 21 has the potential to get in the way of youth achieving their goals. The campaign is based on research showing that the most compelling reason for youth to abstain from underage retail marijuana use is that it could get in the way of achieving their goals. Students who understand what it’s like to set and achieve their goals agree that underage retail marijuana use can get in the way of what they want to accomplish.
To connect with Colorado youth, Protect What’s Next uses video placements online and in-app, digital advertising, a Buzzfeed partnership, streaming radio advertising, cinema advertising, paid and organic social media, as well as outreach tactics with youth groups and in-person events, including The Protect What’s Next Challenge and Protect What’s Next Adventures, a partnership with TEDxMileHigh.
The website, ProtectWhatsNext.com, allows youth to engage with the Goal Getter, an interactive tool that helps them identify and complete their own personal goals. The site also educates youth on the health effects and consequences of using retail marijuana before age 21.
Why are you focusing on schools that only serve 6th to 9th graders?CDHPE has chosen to create the Protect What’s Next Challenge to be implemented at freestanding middle schools serving only sixth to ninth grade students for the following reasons:
- Our research and focus group findings show this younger group of ages 12 to 15 is more “influenceable” and may not have tried marijuana yet.
- The Protect What’s Next Challenge messaging and execution were specifically crafted to resonate with youth ages 12 to 15.
- The Challenge was built to maximize a freestanding middle school’s space through the placement of posters, mirror clings, promotional messaging, etc. throughout the school throughout the month of February. By focusing only on freestanding middle schools serving grades six to nine, we ensure that we aren’t exposing younger or older students to our campaign message.
- We don’t want to expose younger children under age 12 to a retail marijuana prevention message for both legal and parent permission reasons.
- We don’t want teens older than age 15 to participate in the Challenge as they may negatively influence whether youth ages 12 to 15 respond positively to our message.
- It is easier to target older youth with paid media. It is much more difficult to target younger youth with paid media due to legal issues. So, going into middle schools serving only sixth to ninth graders allows us to ensure we reach youth ages 12-15 with our campaign messaging.
- Therefore, Challenge contest rules are specifically written to only allow youth ages 12 to 15 from freestanding middle schools to participate.