It’s here! The grand-daddy of STEM Service-Learning events!
We are pleased to announce this year’s YELC-STEM SL conference on Saturday, October 4, 2014! Once again we will be hosting the “STEMFest” in addition to 3 workshops that the teams will rotate through. “STEMFest” is an opportunity for teams to rotate through the arena engaging with experts, mentors and other exhibitors to learn more about STEM environmental careers and projects while having fun with hands-on activities. Topics will focus on “green” themes such as water conservation, solar oven construction, robotics, and school garden projects. The “technical” activities will be with the exhibitors in STEMFest, which we feel provide a well-balanced program with something for everyone.
As you know, the Youth Environmental Leadership Conference (YELC) is an exciting, hands-on, one-day STEM Service Learning-focused conference designed to introduce students and educators to environmental professionals and potential careers, while encouraging students to develop environmental service learning projects that improve their local environment. Teams of two to eight students, in grades 3 through 12, along with an attending teacher/advisor, from schools throughout the Mojave and High Desert, are invited to take part in this unique and FREE Conference.
During YELC Fall 2014, attendees will hear a motivational address from Joel Green, founder and host of the national television program Curiosity Quest, and will enjoy learning about many recycling and green service learning team projects and attend three engaging hands-on workshops. School Garden Project Mentor Christie Robinson will be on hand to answer any school garden project questions you and your team may have. Teams already working on an environmental STEM service learning project (SLP) or teams who have yet to begin a project, will identify ways to improve their projects or begin an environmental SLP to benefit their community and the environment! With a strong focus on STEM service learning projects, MEEC is providing the necessary tools to assist our nation’s youth gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems and drive advancements in science and technology. With science and engineering jobs growing 70% faster than other occupations, STEM school students will be at an advantage when competing for high tech, high-wage jobs of the future and regions which focus their efforts on STEM will be at an advantage by cultivating such a workforce and attracting the associated jobs.
Lunch, snacks, reusable water bottles, YELC T-Shirts, and all conference materials are provided free of charge. Additionally, teams participating in YELC are eligible to apply for a project grant up to $250 to implement or further their environmental service learning project! By applying for and accepting these grant funds, you also agree to come back and participate with your team in the follow-up Spring 2015 YELC Showcase to share your project (regardless of what stage it’s in) with other teams.
This year, we are making every effort to make attending the event readily available by providing Transportation Reimbursement funds upon request (if applicable) for participating teams, including, but not limited to, the Antelope Valley, Barstow and Trona.
Attending teams will reunite at the YELC Showcase in Spring 2015 to share their projects and receive recognition. Dates TBA.
We are aware that last year’s conference date posed some scheduling dilemmas for many of you that do not start school until after September 5th, so we are offering you the following solution:
Teams may be made up of students other than those that are currently in your class this year. Students may have graduated to the next grade level but would still like to be a part of the STEM SL team, and may still do so. We encourage the teams to do their best to stay within the following grade levels; 3-5; 6-8; and 9-12 so that they are within the same learning curves. To this end, we are recommending that you begin selecting your teams prior to school letting out this year so that you will be able to have parents complete the necessary participation forms and return them to MEEC by the September 5, 2014 Deadline.
Hope to see you there!