Environmental Issues Slam

Washington Foundation for  the Environment

4th Annual Environmental Issues Slam

April 20, 2017, 6pm

Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

Seattle, WA.

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CONGRATULATIONS and thanks to the stellar students, teachers, parents,  friends,  judges, and sponsors who participated in the 2017 Environmental Issues Slam. Although there were two winners– the judges pick  and the audience pick– we acknowledge the creative,  smart and sophisticated approaches to framing environmental issues by all the students.

This year we had eight terrific teams:

“Litter is Bitter,” by Elsa Klubberud, Clara Hayden and Orion Hunter from Explorer West Middle School

“The State of the Nation: Climate Change is Real,” by Jacquest Blumenzweig and Josiah Carson from Hazel Wolf K-8

“We can all be Zero Heroes,” by Alice Watson from Madison Middle School

“Water is Life,” by Emory Ranes, Sabrina Myers, and Braden Colaner from Hazel Wolf K-8

“Assault on Seattle,” by Regan Thomas, Keira Anderson and Margot Cohen from Explorer West Middle School

“Tomorrow” by Elisa Dittermeier from Open Window School

“Hazel Wolf- About the School” by Lila Felsheim, Nikki Ross,  Deva Lewis and Devan Hodson from Hazel Wolf K-8

“A Not-So-Funny-Farm,” by Jack Brown, Ella Friis-Alfers and Benno DePuma from Explorer West Middle School

The Audience Pick went to Water is Life…..

and the Judge’s Pick went to Assault on Seattle….

                    

Congratulations to both teams….

In a kind act of paying forward, Hazel Wolf donated their prize money to Earth Justice and Sound Experience.

The evening started with an apt quote from Stravinsky…and some light shed on the Slam event and the anticipation that precedes all competitions, even friendly ones….

                  

 

Thanks to our Ron Sims, our illustrious Master of Ceremonies, Board, our judges and our sponsors!

                   

Counting Audience Votes                                           Board members Konrad and Tim with Ron Sims 

 

Dodi Monahan, Judge

Heather Trim, Judge

                      

And of course,  hats off to all the students and their teachers, parents and friends…

              

 

  

                           

“I have participated in the Environmental Slam for the last three years, and each time has taught me something valuable and useful that I doubt I could have learned elsewhere. Through the many issues that I  researched, compiled information on,  and presented to the audience I  began to develop a passion for social change,  leadership and participation. At my last Slam, my projects (Students for Sustainable Slopes) even won, and I continue to work  on it to this day. The Slam provided me with a launching board to promote development in my community and as a consequence has made me feel like I have begun to successfully contribute to society and my future.” former Explorer West Middle School Student,  Makenzie White

STUDENT INFORMATION

What is the Environmental Issues Slam?

The Environmental Issues Slam is a regional, student-focused, community event that features short presentations by middle and high school youth on a local and actionable environmental issue of their choosing.

  • Student teams or individuals present their environmental issue in front of a live audience in the spirit of a “slam” style performance which is characterized by a short (5 minutes) informative and entertaining presentation.
  • The Slam is intended to educate both the community audience and the students themselves as they research and develop their presentation.
  • Participants compete for two prizes: a People’s Choice Award determined by audience vote and a Judge’s Choice Award determined by a panel of experts in environmental fields.

How Can I Participate in the Slam?

Any individual or team of middle or high-school students in the Seattle area may apply to participate in the regional Slam in Seattle. Students usually work with a teacher or other adult within their school or organization for assistance with selecting an environmental issue, guidelines for preparing the presentation, answering questions, and to complete the application on WFFE’s website (Google form coming shortly!).

  1. Once you have decided if they are working alone or with a team, work with your adult advisor or teacher to choose a local or regional environmental issue that is actionable, meaning that people can change their behavior in some way to have a positive impact on the issue. The selected issue should be simple and straightforward and can be summarized in a five-minute presentation. Once selected, you and your teammates independently research your chosen issue.
  1. Once you have researched your issue, you will create an original five-minute presentation using the Scoring Rubric as a guide.  Environmental Slam Rubric. The presentation should highlight why the issue is important and what the audience needs to know about the issue you selected.
  1. You must complete an online registration form in order for team(s)/individual(s) to participate. This is usually completed by your teacher or other adult. The registrations deadline is February 17, 2017. Once your application is received you will receive a confirmation email.
  2. Please invite and encourage members of your school/organization community to attend the Environmental Issues Slam on the evening of Thursday, April 20 at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. Ask your teacher for help in publishing information about the event in your school/organization newsletter or website, and post fliers in your building and neighborhood.

Selecting an Environmental Issue and Creating a Successful Presentation:

Students should choose their environmental issue with assistance from their adult advisor  teacher. It should be simple and straightforward and can be summarized in a five-minute presentation.

The presentation should aim to highlight why the issue is important and what the audience should be aware of concerning the issue selected. Use the Slam Scoring Rubric which will be provided shortly to help you create your presentation.  The most successful presentations generally are fast moving and entertaining.  They have a simple but important environmental lesson or point to be made.  Some of the presentations have included costumes music and singing, while others have been more straightforward talks.  Both types of presentations have been effective and have won awards.

One, or more, students can make the presentation and any type of audio-visual aids are allowed. Presentations will be made in the front of the meeting room which seats about one hundred people, and a remote microphone will be available.

Schedule of Events: Date, Time, & Location

The Slam will be held at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center located at 4408 Delridge Way SW Seattle, WA 98106 on Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM. A thirty-minute social mixer will begin at 6:30 to give allow people to get acquainted and to ensure proper setup for the presentations. Drinks and hors oeuvres will be provided. The presentations will begin at 7pm.  The award ceremony will conclude by 8:30pm.

Questions or Additional Information

If you have additional questions or would like more detailed information about selecting and registering students for participation in the Slam, please contact Slam Coordinator and WFFE board member, Tim Owens at timo@explorer-west.org.

FOR EDUCATORS AND YOUTH LEADERS

If you are a Seattle area educator or youth leader in an environmental or ecology-related field, and work with kids in grades 6-12, you are invited to enter a team to compete in the 4th Annual Environmental Issues Slam, sponsored by the Washington Foundation for the Environment (WFFE).

What is the Environmental Issues Slam?

The Environmental Issues Slam is a regional, student-focused, community event that features short presentations by middle and high school youth on a local and actionable environmental issue of their choosing.

  • Student teams or individuals present their environmental issue in front of a live audience in the spirit of a “slam” style performance which is characterized by a short (5 minutes) informative and entertaining presentation.
  • The Slam is intended to educate both the community audience and the students themselves as they research and develop their presentation.
  • Participants compete for two prizes: a people’s choice award determined by audience vote and a judge’s choice award determined by a panel of experts in environmental fields.

How Do Students Participate in the Slam?

Any school or community organization serving middle or high-school students may apply to send a team or individual to participate in the regional Slam in Seattle. How the school or organization selects a representative to attend the Slam is up to them, however the following is the most common process for selecting a representative to attend the Slam:

  1. The teacher/facilitator provides interested students with the information flyer describing the event. Follow-up by providing time for students to meet and ask questions, discuss topic ideas, or get help in forming a team.
  2. Once students have decided if they are working alone or with a team, they should      work with their adult advisor or teacher to choose a local or regional environmental issue that is actionable, meaning that people can change their behavior in some way to have a positive impact on the issue. Their selected issue should be simple and straightforward and can be summarized in a five-minute presentation. Once selected, students independently research their chosen issue.
  3. Students create an original five-minute presentation using the Scoring Rubric as a guide- we will post this shortly.  The presentation should aim to highlight why the issue is important and what the audience should be aware of concerning the issue selected.
  4. Typically, the teacher/facilitator serves only as a reference or general support for students, with the students independently completing their research and selecting the style of their presentation. Most teachers/facilitators offer students extra credit or a “Challenge” credit to individuals or teams who complete a presentation.
  5. If there are multiple teams/ individuals from a school or organization that wish to  compete in the regional Slam, a school-wide Slam should be held and have staff and  students vote on their favorite presentation to determine the team(s) that will represent their school/organization at the regional Slam in April
  6. The teacher/facilitator must submit an online registration form in order for their team(s)/individual(s) to participate. The registration closes by February 17, 2017. Once your registration is received you will receive a confirmation email.
  7. Please invite and encourage members of your school/organization community to attend the regional Environmental Issues Slam Thursday, April 20, 6:30PM at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle by posting information about the event in your school/organization newsletter or website, and posting fliers in your building and neighborhood.

Selecting an Environmental Issue

The students, with the assistance of their teacher, should choose an environmental issue which is simple and straightforward and can be summarized in a five-minute presentation. The presentation should aim to highlight why the issue is important and what the audience should be aware of concerning the issue selected.

Creating a Successful Presentation:

The most successful presentations generally are fast moving and entertaining.  They have a simple but important environmental lesson or point to be made.  Some of the presentations have included costumes music and singing, while others have been more straightforward talks.  Both types of presentations have been effective and have won awards.

One, or more, students can make the presentation and any type of audio-visual aids are allowed. Presentations will be made in the front of the meeting room which seats about one hundred people, and a remote microphone will be available.

Schedule of Events: Date, Time, & Location

The Slam will be held at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center located at 4408 Delridge Way SW Seattle, WA 98106 on Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:30-8:30PM. A thirty-minute social mixer will begin at 6:30 to give allow people to get acquainted and to ensure proper setup for the presentations. Drinks and hors oeuvres will be provided. The presentations will begin at 7pm.  The award ceremony should be concluded before 8:30pm.

Questions or Additional Information

If you have additional questions or would like more detailed information about selecting and registering students for participation in the Slam, please contact Slam Coordinator and WFFE board member, Tim Owens at timo@explorer-west.org.