Written and submitted by Ali Dahmes, West Central Coordinator
On January 25, 2018, the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) Program announced the 2018 winners of the McKnight Foundation Project Funding. Funding was awarded to teams whose projects engage and empower youth to make an impact in their school and/or community on climate change through hands-on projects. Through a competitive process, five teams received awards.
The project funding is a result of a larger grant received by the YES! Program from The McKnight Foundation in the fall of 2015 to bring climate literacy to YES! students across greater Minnesota. “The primary goal of this grant from McKnight’s perspective is to get the newest generation engaged and empowered to do something about climate change in their own communities,” said Aimee Witteman, Midwest Climate & Energy Program Director for The McKnight Foundation. All teams that received funding have a clear vision on how their project relates to climate change.
New London-Spicer High School YES! Teams will be updating their parking lot lights to LED energy efficient lighting to reduce the energy usage and reduce their carbon footprint.
Mankato West YES! Team plans on purchasing reusable silverware for their cafeteria in addition to educating students about the importance of using reusable utensils over plastic utensils and the positive environmental impact reusable equipment has.
Glencoe-Silver Lake YES! Team will be designing and building another solar recharging station for students to charge their portable devices during the day, to charge their solar vehicle, and for other demonstrational purposes.
Forest Lake YES! Team will be expanding their pollinator garden by adding an additional 64 plants that will educate students and community members about the importance of increasing habitat for pollinators.
Last but not least, Wrenshall YES! Team is building an electric high mileage vehicle to compete at the MTEEA Supermileage Vehicle Competition.
More to come: teams will be blogging information and pictures on the projects in the near future!