YES! Quarterly
Spring 2017
Celebrate YES! on May 25th 

will receive the 2017 Minnesota Ethical Leadership award from the Synergy and Leadership Exchange this spring! The program will be honored on May 25 at the State Capitol.

Winter Workshops     
300 students and coaches participated in the 15 unique Winter Workshops offered this season! They learned from 50 experts as well as their peers and utilized hands-on learning, tours, and discussions to acquire knowledge and plan for the success of their projects.  Read more about:

YES! Teams in Action

YES! teams are involved in a bunch of great projects this year.  Here are a few highlights from around the state: 


A new YES! team, they have kicked off their first year with great enthusiasm and a project involving a composting system for their school cafeteria. They have developed small prototypes and successfully turned their food waste into valuable soil that hopefully will be used in another project.  As a long term project they have decided to work on shoreline restoration and water quality issues of Silver Lake, in the heart of town. By mobilizing resources in their community they are set to succeed this year and have plans for a multi-year project.

Mankato West
They are working with local elementary schools to improve waste and compost sorting at lunch. They weighed and sorted lunch refuse and created an educational video on the importance of composting. They will conduct another waste sort later this spring to see how the educational program impacted the composting process at these elementary schools.

Glencoe-Silver Lake

This team is hard at work building a supermileage car and solar boat. They will be competing May 15-16 at the
the 29 th annual Supermileage Challenge and at the 25th annual Solar Boat Regatta!

St. Cloud North
They will planting 1.3 acres of native pollinator prairie on their school grounds, a design and location that the students helped with and includes crucial pollinator habitat in an otherwise urban environment as well as outdoor educational space. They have collaborated with shop classes to build benches for an outdoor classroom area, they are building milk carton birdhouses, and they are starting milkweed seedlings to be planted on the prairie this spring! 

New Staff 

Monica Thompson
We're excited to announce our newest YES! Coordinators, Monica Thompson and Michelle Isaacson! Monica will be working with the Northwest teams while working out of Lakes Country Service Cooperative in Fergus Falls.  We are excited for Monica to share her experience with technology and passion for working with youth. Learn more about Monica here

Michelle will be working with the Southern teams while working out of Ney Nature Center in Henderson. We are excited for Michelle to share her love of nature and outdoor adventures as well as her unique experiences with the YES! Program.  Learn more about Michelle here.

YES! Alumna Update 

In 2009, Sam Ehrenberg joined the YES! team at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City (ACGC) High School and was elected to serve as president of the fledgling club.  Sam credits YES! as providing her first big experience in a leadership role and kindling an interest in science and energy.  Eight years later, Sam is a National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate research program fellow at the University of Minnesota working in a non-thermal plasma materials processing lab under Professor Uwe Kortshagen. Sam is currently helping to develop more efficient processes for a next generation of photovoltaic windows that collect solar energy. Read more about her research!

McKnight Foundation Project Funding

YES! is excited to announce the 2016-17 winners of the McKnight Foundation Project Funding. Aimee Witteman, Midwest Climate & Energy Program Director for The McKnight Foundation, is excited "to get the newest generation engaged and empowered to do something about climate change in their own communities."
  • Springfield and Forest Lake YES! Teams will be completing recycling projects.
  • St. Cloud North Junior High YES! Team will be planting a 1.3 acre native pollinator prairie on school grounds.
  • Glencoe-Silver Lake YES! Team will be building a solar/electric powered boat.
  • New Prague YES! Team will be building a 16X8 butterfly garden and a greenhouse.
  • Mankato West and ROCORI YES! Teams will be expanding on their hydration stations throughout their schools.
  • Wrenshall YES! Team is building an electric vehicle and solar battery charger. 
  • Royalton YES! Team will learning about multiple energy conservation technologies abroad in Italy.
Read more about these projects and the funding from McKnight. Follow along on our blog for posts from teams with more information and photos as they work to impact their climate change in their communities through hands-on projects.

Did You Know...

For the first time, Youth Energy Summit (YES!) is going to have a state wide competition. Each of the four top regional winners will compete this year for the YES! State Championship title. The recipient will receive their award at the Minnesota Twins game on Sunday, May 21st at 1:00pm. We invite all YES! fans and friends to join us at the game and congratulate the first YES! State Champion. Please contact Ali for more information regarding reduced priced Twins tickets for the event.
In This Issue
Celebrate YES!
Winter Workshops
YES! Teams in Action
New Staff Members
YES! Alumna Update
McKnight Awards
Did You Know...
Quick Links

Follow Us!

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View on Instagram
YES! empowers youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects.
YES! provides a unique opportunity for students to learn by engaging directly in community efforts that lead to dramatic demonstrations of renewable energy technology and conservation practices and exposes them to how science is applied in real life.

YES! Program Partners 

















Major Program Funders  







Join Our Mailing List
Do you know a school that would like to host a YES! team?

Contact us to connect with a coordinator in your region and become a part of the YES! network!