More than 125 students from throughout southern and central Minnesota gathered at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Nov. 9 for the fifth annual YES! Fall Summit. Participating students were charged with saying “yes” to each other throughout the day as they explored information and resources to support energy conservation and renewable energy projects in their communities.
Rotating through four break-out session, students witnessed what has helped experienced YES! teams be successful; learned how to take energy efficiency to the next level; tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit; and tried their hand at maximizing their use of resources through an interactive game. These sessions were specifically designed to engage students and equip them with useful information for the season.
Participants also heard what teams have worked on in the past before moving into the afternoon session. Students and their coaches alike participated in this final session of the day, titled the ‘World Cafe’ where they sat down with on of 26 Minnesota business and organization leaders to learn about their work and to explore questions “that matter” in energy conservation and sustainability. Ranging from plastic spoons to water conservation, these discussions crossed generation and geographic hurdles and reinforced the value of saying yes to one another.
Teams left filled with energy, inspiration and ideas for projects to tackle during this school year. When asked for feedback on some of their discussion points, one group wrote, “You have the power of choice, you can do something…you can make a difference.”