Environmental Science Competition

Attention Teachers of Grades 9 – 12 in Western New York

The Education Committee of the Sierra Club/Niagara Group invites you to
participate in a competition designed to highlight Environmental Education in the
classroom. As part of America’s oldest and largest environmental organization our
group is seeking to encourage area teachers to bring environmental science into
their classrooms.

The benefits of Environmental Education in the schools have been well documented but
it can be challenging to include these studies in your lesson plans with current restrictions
on your time, curriculum, and school budget. We hope this contest will give you an
opportunity to showcase the important work that is already going on in your classroom or
to try something new.

Our goal is to encourage students to learn about our natural environment and how to
protect it. We hope to promote understanding of environmental issues, motivate young
people to take action on an environmental issue and demonstrate that they can make a
larger impact on protecting our environment.

To enter the contest, please submit a short proposal for the design and execution of a
project that will help students become more aware of environmental issues. Proposals
may be of a new project or an enhancement or extension of an already existing project.

Possible key issues that you may wish to consider but are not limited to:
1. Invasive species
Encroachment on native plants and animals

2. Sustainable Living
Environmental Health
Zero Waste

3. Climate and Energy
Reducing our carbon footprint

Developing new ideas around renewable energy

4. Natural Habitats
Developing new ideas on how to protect wildlife and the wilderness

Please include:
Rationale – give the reason you selected the issue you are addressing
Introduction – background information on the issue you have chosen
Project description – may be enhanced with drawings, photographs, etc.

Criteria for Entering the Competition

Public, Independent, Charter and Parochial School teachers in Western New York

Students must be in grades 9-12

Entries must be postmarked by Dec. 1, 2012

The first place winner will receive a prize of $300.00 from the Sierra Club/ Niagara
Group and will have the opportunity to give a short presentation of their project at the
Sierra Club annual dinner in May 2013. Award certificates will be given to the second
and third place winners. All three winners will receive award certificates for their
students and will have their projects highlighted on the GrowWNY.org website.

*Please see information at the end of this letter regarding the GrowWNY website and the
WNYEA (Western New York Environmental Alliance).

Proposals will be evaluated on the scope and relevance of the topic and on the breadth of
student involvement.

Please mail your proposal by December 1, 2012 to:

Vicky Southall
5611 Godfrey’s Pond Road
Bergen, NY 14416

Remember to include the teacher’s name, grade level, school, and
contact information.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I can be reached directly by
e-mail at southall.vicky@yahoo.com or by phone at 585-704-6307.

Vicky Southall
Angie Knisley
Co-Chairs, Sierra Club, Niagara Group Education Committee

Western New York has an Environmental Alliance (WNYEA). The Alliance is made up of
approximately 80 nonprofit and community organizations that share a common goal to

preserve and protect the amazing natural resources we have in Western New York.

The Alliance and its members use the GrowWNY website to connect and inform people
interested in living, working and playing greener. The website also encourages people to
participate in our region’s environmental movement. The website, http://www.growwny.org has
detailed information about the Alliance, its missions, programs etc.

Please visit our Educator’s site and fill out a brief teachers’ survey.


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