Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center and Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) announcd that the Royalton Yes Team was awarded the first place “Yes” award for its 2013-2014 project accomplishments. For their efforts, members of the team received $1,000 in award funding to be used in future Yes Team work.
Team awards in Central Minnesota totaling $2,250 were sponsored this season by Initiative Foundation and Southwest Initiative Foundation.
The Royalton Yes Team was coached by Royalton High School teacher Marty Bratsch and included 23 Royalton students. These students designed and built a solar boat and a solar-powered trailer to haul their solar boat and electric vehicle to events. They designed, built and installed benches for their outdoor classroom as well.
In addition, they worked to reduce school lunch waste by recycling milk cartons and separating lunch waste to make it easier for a local hog farmer to feed it to his animals. They also gave back to their community by hosting a fundraiser to support their local senior center and by promoting and maintaining the used motor oil collection site in town.
The Yes Award isn’t the only one giving these students awards — the team recently received a 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Red Wagon Award. The Red Wagon Awards recognize groups of young people from across Minnesota who have worked together to increase civic engagement, improve academic achievement, and/or shown exemplary leadership in their community.
“Yes” is a unique experiential learning program where youths in grades 7 – 12 engage in hands-on learning and undertake meaningful projects that expose students to how science, technology, engineering, and math are applied in real life. These projects not only lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices, but also build skills that will directly impact their future in education and the workforce like creativity, innovation, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and project management.
During the 2013-2014 school year, 22 Yes teams participated around central, southwest and southern Minnesota. This is Royalton’s third year participating in the program.