West Central Regional Judging Results

Congratulations to the West Central YES! Teams for yet another amazing year of hardworking students completing complex projects. This year’s West Central Regional Judging took place at Dahmes Stainless Inc. in New London, Minnesota where five judges from the community came together to assess accomplishments of the six West Central YES! Teams.

Results:

All-Star Award Recipient – Glencoe-Silver Lake YES! Team

  • Outstanding work in all the following categories: project impact, goal setting, teamwork, community leadership, and community education.

Project Impact Award Recipient – Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City YES! Team

  • Outstanding projects that will continue to impact the community include: Tree Trench, Elementary Education, Parking Lot Light Retrofit, and Climate Convening

Wow Factor Award Recipient – Hutchinson YES! Team

  • Outstanding Project: Construction of a Tiny House

Goal Setting & Teamwork Award Recipient – New London-Spicer YES! Team

  • For showing exemplary goal setting skills and including all members of the team to accomplish many different goals.

Community Leadership & Education Award Recipient – Lac qui Parle Valley YES! Team

  • For their impressive use of community collaboration on the WorldWear Shoe project as well as showing skills including innovation, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and project management of their greenhouse.

On behalf of the YES! staff, we would like to, yet again, thank you all for your hard work in making a better planet for our future.

Youth Energy Summit (YES!) named as a 2017 MN Ethical Leadership Award Recipient

Synergy & Leadership Exchange has named Youth Energy Summit (YES!) as a 2017 Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award recipient.  Many outstanding applications were considered, but only three were selected for recognition.  According to the award letter, the blue-ribbon panel was impressed with the character and ethical leadership development exhibited by the YES! students.

One of the judges commented, “I liked the experiential learning and how the program serves as a platform for a student’s voice in the community (practice citizenship).”

YES! will be honored by Synergy & Leadership Exchange at the Character Recognition Awards ceremony May 25th at the State Office Building, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Synergy & Leadership Exchange (Synergy) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering collaboration to advance the development of ethical citizens, providing educational resources, and celebrating achievement and best practices in Minnesota schools, businesses and communities.  To learn more about this organization and this award, please visit their website at http://synergyexchange.org/Home.aspx.

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, Where Does Your Garbage Go?

On a warm Thursday afternoon, 32 students and teachers from the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) team, and three science classes at New Ulm Middle School attended the recent Composting Presentation at New Ulm Middle School on May 4, 2017.  This presentation focused on the topic of composting, giving examples of how and why to do it.

Betty Winkworth and Jane Dow from Mankato Zero Waste provided a bounty of information on what composting is and why we should do it. The focus of Zero Waste is to educate community members and provide an easy way for them to reduce their waste. Their main topic of interest is where food scraps go. “Composting is the way nature has done it since the beginning of time” said Betty, so it makes sense that we continue utilizing this natural process.

When in a landfill, all materials get packed together under the weight of incoming trash. This leads to a situation where organic materials begin breaking down anaerobically, or without oxygen. The byproduct of this process is methane gas, which is a detrimental addition to the atmosphere as it is one of the most potent greenhouse gasses. By putting organic material in a composting facility, piles are turned and oxygen is introduced, allowing material breaking down aerobically without producing methane gas. One of the benefits of using commercial composting sites is that more items are accepted than would be in a small scale, backyard pile. With the large volume of ingredients, commercial site piles are able to reach a higher internal temperature, allowing for better material sanitation.

The ladies described multiple ways of collecting the food scraps in homes, including using an ice cream bucket in the house and transferring it to a larger bucket outside, freezing it, and more. When the scraps have accumulated, residents take it to centrally localized dumpsters in the three participating towns, which are then taken to Midwest Recycling Solutions at the MFS Farm in Good Thunder.

Homeowners are not the only people benefiting from this service. Multiple businesses in the Mankato area are using compostable utensils and dishes and are composting their food scraps. Sending these items to a compost site instead of placing them in the trash actually people saves money. When trash pickup is charged by weight, a reduction of the heavy food waste can make a large impact on the costTo make good compost, there needs to be the correct balance of nitrogen and carbon. The nitrogen source, or green, comes from the dumpsters brought in from the local communities. Carbon, or brown, is added by mixing in leaves or wood chips into the mix. Accurate proportions of greens and browns allow the material to break down properly, creating compost. The piles are tuned every week and in 4 to 6 months, the pile has become usable compost. The material is lab tested to ensure safety and is then sold through various outlets. Using compost is very beneficial to the land as it is full of nutrients, reducing the need for chemical application, and it holds water more efficiently, leading to a reduction of soil erosion and an increase in available water for plants.

Students walked away with an increased knowledge of composting and will be able to use this information and have the capability to expand their current composting system, their YES! worm bins. Everyone in attendance was inspired to be more conscious about purchases and ultimately what they do with their waste.

April 28 – Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (ACGC) Community Event

Arbor Day Community Event – Tree Trench Dedication & Climate Convening

Arbor Day Community Event

JOIN THE ACGC YES! TEAM FOR AN EDUCATIONAL NIGHT

  • SEE THE NEWLY IMPLEMENTED TREE TRENCH AND LEARN THE EFFECTS IT WILL HAVE ON THE COMMUNITY.
  • HEAR FROM CLIMATE GENERATION ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE
    (WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT OUR COMMUNITY).
  • LOCAL CLIMATE STORIES
  • WRAP UP THE EVENING HEARING ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO LOCALLY TO HELP THE CAUSE.
  • SNACKS AND REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED.

FRIDAY, APRIL 28

5:30 – 7:30 PM

ACGC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 

ATWATER, MN

Solar Boating at Glencoe-Silver Lake

 

 

The Glencoe-Silver Lake YES! Team has been working on a project that reduces the dependence on fossil fuels and is a zero-emission vehicle to boot. Our team is in the final assembly of building a one person solar boat. The team will be competing at the MRES Solar Boat Regatta May 20th at Lake Riley. The objective of our project was to create and demonstrate a non-polluting way to enjoy our lakes and rivers while also being powered by motors for both speed and distance. Out team has combined the project with our previous Supermileage Electric vehicle to two the boat to the lake. A zero-emission, renewable energy solution to recreational and transportation needs that won’t pollute our waterways.

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