Over 150 students and teachers from 21 schools throughout southwest, west-central and central Minnesota gathered at the Redwood Area Community Center October 31 for the sixth annual Youth Energy Summit (YES!) Fall Summit. This year’s Summit provided a variety of energy-related experiences around the theme, One You, Many Connections. Throughout the day, students were able to connect with resource experts and information to position them for success as they prepare to engage in team-based projects that not only lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices, but also build student skills like problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and project management.
Rotating through three morning breakout sessions, students participated in a skit demonstrating the best practices for connecting with community resources and explored connections in their communities; learned about energy-related careers available in Minnesota and gained knowledge of energy facts through interactive games; and learned how to measure the success of their projects accounting for the real differences that they are making.
After an invigorating costume contest, the winners of which were wearing solar panels and a sun, everyone participated in the final session of the day, connecting the diverse perspectives of over 20 Minnesota energy-related business and organizational leaders. Students learned about the work of these leaders, their industries, and opportunities for the future. This intergenerational activity also allowed for meaningful conversations around the concepts of biomimicry, small energy reduction acts, and large-scale clean energy.
Teams left filled with energy, inspiration, and ideas for energy-related projects to tackle in their schools and communities this school year!