10 Vermont High Schools Compete in Johnson State's Annual Greening Summit
Johnson State College recently hosted its fifth annual Greening Summit. Twelve teams from 10 Vermont high schools competed to secure grant funds to implement innovative environmental projects in their schools.
The Summit, held Nov. 10 in Bentley Science Center, included formal presentations, a creative competition, a Scholars' Bowl Quiz, a campus tour and lectures on scientific research by Johnson State faculty.
During formal presentations, students used PowerPoint and Prezi formats, poster displays, laboratory set-ups and working models to outline the key points of their written proposals. Their environmental solutions included cafeteria composting, water filtration systems and LED lighting.
When the day was over, teams walked away with grants ranging from $100 to $1,000, made possible by the Vermont Community Foundation’s Green Mountain Fund.
The grand prize went to a Missisquoi Valley Union team, whose plan involved manufacturing biodiesel for use in the school's maintenance vehicles and buses. Brattleboro Union's written proposal was recognized for how well it conveyed the team's dream to provide a water-filtration system for its school district. And the Lyndon Institute received the Lawrence C. Bloch Creative Presentation Award for the team's skit dramatizing the perils of surface runoff.
The Summit was sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders and JSC's President Barbara E. Murphy, Dean of Students David Bergh, Environmental and Health Sciences, Conference and Event Services, Admissions and Sodexo Food Services. The teams received individualized feedback from Frances Huessy of the Vermont Energy Investment Corp.
The Upward Bound (UB) program also played a major role in the Summit, which was co-founded by Tony Blueter, director of Johnson State's UB program. Half of the teams were from UB programs in the region, and UB programs from Lyndon State, Castleton State and Plattsburgh State participated, either by sending a team, submitting a written proposal or furnishing a judge. UB supports students striving to become the first in their families to attend college.
The Summit is directed by Russ Weis. For information or to inquire about entering next year’s Summit, contact Weis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 635-1376, ext. 2.