This guest blog post is brought to you by the Mankato West High School YES! Team.
Last week, the Mankato West YES! (Youth Energy Summit) team attended the YES! Fall Summit in Redwood Falls. The mission of YES! is to empower youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects. Students attending from Mankato West were Maddy Valentin, Josh Koser, Lia Spencer, Mary Traxler, Kenzie Lach, Emma Murray and Karin Davey.
At the Fall Summit, the students gained direction from the day’s learning. Group members decided to use some key take-home messages from the Fall Summit to guide the students’ work this year. The students plan to work on building relationships with the community. The group also wants to remember that little actions make a big difference, and that students are not the only ones seeking to make a difference in our community.
At the Fall Summit, one of the most interesting topics students learned about was the possibility of composting with worms! The students think this idea is very neat and would really like to incorporate it into their possible future project of composting the waste from school lunches.
The topics students are looking to pursue this year are measuring electrical energy consumption to lead to reduced energy usage at Mankato West and researching possible alternatives to Styrofoam trays in our cafeteria.
The students found the Fall Summit to be an exciting and insightful day of learning. Members found it interesting that so many organizations and businesses were involved and willing to sponsor YES! Students also noticed that getting support from the community for energy related or environmentally friendly projects is possible.
Overall, the YES! team and their advisor Eric Koser had great time learning about energy and the different directions energy projects can take. The Fall Summit was a great opportunity to interact and talk with other youths about their ideas and, in turn, receive more ideas about where students could take their activities.