NHEE Helps Youth Lead First Middle School Sustainability and Action Summit!

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NHEE, along with NH Energy Education Project (NHEEP), Squam Lakes Natural Science Center (SLNSC), Seacoast Students for Sustainability (SS4S) and Squam Lakes Connected Learning Ecosystem, supported a group of 6 passionate high school students to put on NH's first Middle School Sustainability and Action Summit. One teacher said, “we loved this we can’t wait to come next year!” When asked what one thing you liked about the summit was, a middle school student from Portsmouth said “Learning sooo much! Best day of my life!” 20 middle school students from Waterville Valley Elementary School, Portsmouth Middle School, Holderness Central School, Gilmanton School, and Hopkinton Middle School participated in the summit.

There were 3 concurrent workshops, that teams split up relatively evenly between, with at least one member attending each session (this way teams had 3x the experience of working on sustainability and action projects to bring back to their schools).  In the gardening/composting workshop led by youth presenters, Grow Nashua, Holderness School, and Master Gardener Hannah MacBride, students designed their dream gardens, learned about composting, and planted seeds that students took home. During the Energy workshop led by youth presenters and Aubrey Nelson (NHEEP Educator) students investigated how we use energy for electricity, heating and cooling buildings, and transportation. They even did an energy audit and offered suggestions to the SLNSC of how they might become even more energy efficient. The Wildlife and Habitat Conservation workshop, led by youth presenters, SLNCS and Hannah MacBride focused on providing habitat for wildlife, from bugs to birds, and building bluebird nest boxes. Students used power tools to make their own nest box to put up at their school or home.

We are already starting to think about how we can make this even better next year!