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NY Mills YES! team wins creativity award

The New York Mills YES! Team has been awarded the Creativity and Innovation YES! Award for their project accomplishments in 2012-13.

For their efforts, the team received $250 to be used in future YES! Team work.

The New York Mills team was led by high school teacher Travis Ekren and included students Micah Esala, Maddy Keskitalo, Danielle Maijala, Michael Sonsalla, Amber Barvels, Sam Weber, Ben Trumbull, Brandon Baldwin and Ellie Rutten. 

These students hosted a Black Out Day at their school to promote turning off lights and other devices that use electricity. They are also planning a student-run compost pile, located on school grounds, and plan to start a student-run garden this summer to provide the school with fresh fruits and vegetables.

YES! is a unique experiential learning program where youth in grades 7-12 engage in hands-on learning and undertake meaningful projects that 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.

These projects also expose students to ways in which science, technology, engineering and math are applied in real life. During the 2012-2013 school year, 32 YES! teams participated around central, southwest and southern Minnesota.  It was New York Mills’ first year participating in the program.

The YES! program is a partnership of Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center and Southwest Initiative Foundation. The award was sponsored by the Southwest Initiative Foundation, West Central Initiative Foundation and AgStar Financial Services.

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