YES! Quarterly
Summer 2013
As we wrapped up another school year, we celebrated the achievements of YES! teams, presented YES! awards, and even won an award ourselves! 

YES! students had some great things to say about the program at the end of the year including:
  • "I've learned that when our minds come together we can change how we'll impact our world"
  • "This project has definitely impacted what I want to do with my future-it has broadened my horizons of what field I want to be in" 
  • "The most important things I've learned through YES! are dealing with others' ideas, working as a team, and communicating" 
We're thrilled that YES! has had this impact on Minnesota's young people.  Read on for more stories about the impact of YES!      
The YES! Staff 
YES! Awards  

With 32 teams and more than 470 students engaged in the YES! program this year, the 2012-2013 YES! season was full of creative and inspiring work. 

This year alone YES! students directly worked with over 350 community members and 140 businesses and impacted an additional 30,000 students and community members!  With   
The Royalton YES! team accepting their 2012-2013 YES! awards

great enthusiasm we presented several deserving teams with YES! awards in May.  The awards totaled nearly $10,000.  Award funds will be invested back into these schools and communities, continuing to support YES! projects led by students in the coming year.  

Congratulations to all of the YES! teams on their wonderful achievements this year!  Be sure to check out what each team did this year on our website.   

YES! in Action

The GSL YES! team competing at the Supermileage Challenge

Glencoe-Silver Lake  

The Glencoe-Silver Lake YES! team performed well at the 25th annual Minnesota Supermileage Challenge.  The students successfully built a vehicle that was able to achieve 160 mpg during the competition despite some challenges with the electric start that impacted their mileage.  Their coach was very impressed and commented "of all the teams I have taken to the Supermileage Challenge over the past 22 years, these kids were by far the most goal oriented, organized, best-behaved and focused of any I worked with."  See photos and videos of their run here.


Members of the Willmar YES! team


All year the Willmar YES! team has been reflecting on an Edmund Burke quote that was discussed at the YES! Fall Summit; "Nobody made a greater mistake than the man who did nothing because he could only do a little." The team took this to heart and started off the year by successfully recycling 48,000 milk cartons over a period of two months.  They then moved on to several other projects including installing a hydration station in their cafeteria, presenting on the importance of decreasing plastic waste to 6th-8th graders, and collecting over 450 signatures from students and staff who pledged to use only one paper towel whenever they dry their hands to cut down on paper towel waste.       



The Albany YES! team cut their school lunch waste by 50% this year by recycling milk cartons, napkins and plastic containers.  They also provided recycling containers throughout the school, including the football field.  One YES! student commented that through these recycling projects they learned "how to start new trends and get people on board." 

See more of the exciting projects YES! teams are working on
Energy Business HighlightBusiness

YES! teams are partnering with  East Side Oil Company!  Currently three teams, Royalton, Westbrook-Walnut Grove, and Lac qui Parle Valley, have oil recycling sites that are generating donations to support their team.  We are just starting to discover the potential of this partnership and hope that many more teams can participate in the future.  With YES! teams keen on decreasing the harmful effects of oil pollution, read on to learn how oil recycling got its start in Minnesota.


The Royalton Public Used Oil Drop Site

East Side Oil Company was started in 1963 and their understanding of oil recycling has come a long way since then.  They progressed from originally pouring used oil on the ground (it was thought to be a great weed and dust control agent) to installing their first used oil collection tank in the early 1970s to their 60+ used oil collection locations today.  They are asking for everyone's support as they continue to add more public sites in counties throughout Minnesota.  Their goal is to make sure there is a Used Oil Public Site in every community that does not have a proper way to dispose of their used oil. 

 Read more about the history of East Side Oil Company...   

Did you know...
YES! receiving the Environmental Education award at the Minnesota Environmental Initiate Award

The YES! teams aren't the only ones winning awards!  YES! was recently awarded the Minnesota Environmental Initiative Environmental Education award.  These awards are an annual celebration of the individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities who have worked together to create a better environment for all Minnesotans.  We'd like to thank Jason Tidemann from the Minnesota DNR for nominating us and for all of the great comments and wonderful support we received at the banquet.  Read more about our experience at the event here.    

In This Issue
YES! Awards
YES! in Action
Business Highlight
Did You Know...
Quick Links

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YES! empowers youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects.
YES! provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by engaging directly in community efforts that lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices and exposes them to how science is applied in real life.

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Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center



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