By YES! Program Manager Shelli-Kae Foster
Six YES! students from Royalton presented at the National Joint Powers Alliance “Building the 21st Century Workforce” event on Friday, January 29, 2016. The event was focused on promoting the skills students learn through programs like YES!, Robotics, and Ramp-Up to Readiness. The skills that are acquired through these hand- on programs include civic engagement, leadership, teamwork and critical thinking.
YES! students impressed the audience with their projects such as designing and building a solar boat, a solar car, and a solar powered trailer to transport their car! In addition, YES! students talked about the outdoor classroom they designed and built in honor of a teacher who passed away from cancer, their used motor oil collection site, the hydration stations they installed at their school, and their improved school recycling system. YES! coach Marty Bratsch commented, “YES! can fit into many different realms of your school such as tech, social or science classes.” Bratsch has been a YES! coach for 5 years and said he is continually impressed that the students are always looking for ways to give back to their community.
They have done a great job of connecting and making a difference in the Royalton community by working alongside Mayor Andrea Lauer. One student commented that YES! “Is not just a school thing – it’s a community thing.” And now they are taking their experience to Italy! They hope to share about their successes in mobilizing their community towards sustainability and learn as much as they can about from people in Italy on how they are working towards sustainable best practices.
The big take away from the presentation was that these students “really like the planet” and are willing to work hard to ensure it is a better place for future generations.