Environmental Slam

2020 Environmental  Slam

UPDATE: MARCH 10, 2020
On the recommendation of the CDC and out of an abundance of caution, the Board of Directors has opted to cancel the 2020 Environmental Slam.  We are exploring online and video options at this time. Check back in April for any updates.

Thank you to all the participants of the 2019 Environmental Slam! We are gearing up for our next event on Thursday, April 30th at the Youngstown Cultural Center. If you are interested in participating, please email Tim for more information. More details will be coming soon!


What is the Environmental Slam?

The Environmental 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.

  • Students, participating as teams or individuals, present their environmental issue to a live audience in a slam-style performance. The five-minute performance can include spoken word, music, art, acting, or engaging presentation centered on a climate issue along with a solution.
  • Participants are judged on content, delivery, timing, and if the solution presented is actionable. The presentation is also evaluated on its ability to inform, engage, AND entertain.
  • The topic of the presentation should focus on a local or regional environmental issue that is actionable,  meaning people can change their behavior in some way to have a positive impact on the issue. 
  • The slam presentation should educate and entertain the audience

What do we win?

  • Participants compete for three prizes: a People’s Choice Award determined by audience vote and two Judge’s Choice Award determined by a panel of experts in environmental fields. Each of the three winning presentations receives a $250 donation the nonprofit or club in the climate advocacy or environmental field of their choice.
  • Every group or individual that presents will receive a $50 donation the nonprofit or club in the climate advocacy or environmental field of their choice.

How Can I Participate in the Slam?

  • The slam is open to all students in the Greater Seattle Region. 
  • To participate, fill out our registration form and let us know you are interested. Space is limited, so please submit your registration form by April 1, 2020.
  • Once your registration is received, Tim Owens, Slam Coordinator will contact you with a confirmation email. Tim can be reached at timo@explorer-west.org.
  • Teachers, advisors, parents, or students may fill out the form. Once you have submitted the form we will contact you with more information.
  • Students can work with a teacher or other adult within their school or organization or work independently. Some schools support students by offering extra-credit in science or social studies classes. We encourage school environmental clubs and independent organizations to participate.
  • Once you have completed the registration form, we are available to give teachers guidance on recruiting students. 

How Do I Make a Great Presentation?

  • Once you have registered, begin to research your issue. Create an original five-minute presentation using the Scoring Rubric as a guide. This is very important to review as it is EXACTLY how the judges will be scoring presentations. 
  • The presentation should demonstrate why the issue is important and provide a solution or ways that the audience can change their behavior to make a positive impact.
  • Consider entertaining and powerful ways to communicate your message. Presentations often include music, spoken word, acting or dialogue, and other engaging and creative ways to share the importance of the message.

Spread the Word!

  • Please invite and encourage members of your school or organization to attend the Environmental Slam on Thursday, April 30th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 6:30-8:30pm 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 an environmental issue that they feel strongly about. 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 Environmental Slam Judge’s Rubric:  Environmental Slam Rubric Panelists.

The most successful presentations generally are fast-moving and entertaining. They have a simple but important environmental lesson or point to be made. Any type of audio-visual aids are allowed and technology such as projectors and microphones will be available. Past presentations have included costumes and music, while others have been more straightforward talks. Both types of presentations have been effective and have won awards.

Day of Schedule of Events: Date, Time, and Location

  • Presenters should plan on arriving at the event at 6:00 on April 30th. Presentations will start promptly at 7:00.
  • The Slam will be held at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center located at 4408 Delridge Way SW Seattle, WA 98106
  • A thirty-minute social mixer will begin at 6:30 to allow participants to get acquainted and to ensure proper setup for the presentations. Light snacks will be available.

Have Questions or Need Additional Information?

If you would like more detailed information about the Slam, please contact WFFE President, Tim Owens.

2019 Slam Winners

Topics / Presentation Title
School / Organization

Judges Choice Winner

Wolves on the West Coast       Cece and Faye 

Explorer West Middle School

Judges Choice Winner

With Love, Water

Juniper  The Northwest School

Audience Choice Winner

Save the Buzz

Tim, Ethan, Lila, and Lauren 

Madison Middle School

2019 Slam Participants and Topics


Topics / Presentation Title
School / Organization

Getting To The Roots of Climate Change

Kendall and Jamie 

Zero Hour

Stay Wild, Stay Free


Westside School

Bags By U

Luna, Sophia, and Ona 

Bags By U Environmental Sustainability Youth Group

Earth Defenders Maddie and Djuna 

Eckstein Middle School

More Bees, Please


Explorer West Middle School

Wildfires: Such A Breathtaking Experience

Zoe and Caroline 

Climate Action Families

Oh Crap Tova and Josie 

Eckstein Middle School

2018 Participants and Topics

Pollution’s Impact on Puget Sound Sea Life

Tim, Ethan, and Staten

Madison Middle School

Save the Spiny Dogfish

Margot, Keira, and Regan

Explorer West Middle School

Trashing Seattle’s Public Parks

Annie Means

West Seattle High School

Another One Bites the Coal

Sofia and Peter

Explorer West Middle School

We Are Activists—We Will Act On This!

Tyler, Deva, Allie, Mileana

Hazel Wolf K-8

Songs For a New World

John and Grace

Franklin High School

You Owe It to Her and
You Owe It to Us

Pacifica, Sofia, Zaynib, Pio, Griffn

Hazel Wolf K-8

Killer Whales or Killed Whales?

Violet, Avery, Shona , Julia, and Frances

Explorer West Middle School

A Real Rescue

Paloma, Ruby, and Jazmine

Explorer West Middle School


Faye and Cece

Explorer West Middle School

The 2018 Judge’s Choice was Annie Means from West Seattle H.S. who presented on  recycling in Seattle’s Park System.

The 2018 Audience Award went to Explorer West Middle School Students Violet, Avery, Shona, Julia, and Frances. Their award was donated to the Orca Conservancy.

Our 2018 judges were:

  • Amy Kovacs, Sound Experience
  • Jesse Piedfort, NW Chapter of the Sierra Club
  • Maria Teresa Gamez, Zero Waste Washington




Makenzie White, a former student of Explorer West, who now attends the Northwest School, said this about the Environmental Slam:

 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 project (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 to my future.