On June 2nd, the 2020 Youth Eco Solutions (YES!) State Championship Award Ceremony took place via Zoom. YES! staff, coaches, students, and judges joined the meeting to celebrate and recognize teams for their outstanding work during the 2019-20 YES! season. The teams submitted final reports and were scored by a panel of judges in the following categories: Project Planning & Completion, Goal Setting & Team Work, Ecological Impact, Community Impact, and Water Stewardship. To earn their way to the state competition, qualifying teams had to win their regional competition.
Top qualifying teams for the state competition included Lac qui Parle Valley High School, Royalton High School, Sleepy Eye Schools, Carlton High School, and Northern Lights Community School (Warba). The winning teams projects included restoring 38 acres of prairie, recycling and donating 1,200 lbs of compost, installing low flow shower heads in school locker rooms, collecting energy usage data for ten city buildings, and more! The judges were very impressed with the body of work that was completed despite the disruption of school this year. In fact, one judge stated, “seeing what these young people can do gives me hope for the future.”
2020 State Award Winners
1st Place All Star Award ($500) – Lac qui Parle Valley High School
2nd Place Award ($250 each) – Tie between Sleepy Eye Schools and Northern Lights Community School
Water Stewardship Award ($300) – Carlton High School
Congratulations to all the teams who participated in the competition this year as each teams’ dedication, innovation, and passion was evident throughout every project they completed.
We can’t wait to see what next year brings as many teams will continue their important work and new teams will join the program. The 2020 competition has put a fire under the teams to try even harder and reach even further next year to complete their goals and projects.
Major funding for the YES! program was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).