Astronaut, Portland High School Students Team Up at Workshop To Solve Local Environmental Problems
Bayer Corporation-Sponsored Event Part of Portland World Environment Day Youth Programs
PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dr. Mae Jemison, astronaut, educator and environmental sustainability advocate led teams of Portland Public Schools high school students during an experiential, hands-on workshop entitled, “Food, Water and the Environment: What’s the Connection?” today at Roosevelt High School.
For the sixth year in a row, Bayer has been the official sponsor of the North American World Environment Day (WED) youth activities, including the workshop. More than 70 Portland ninth, 10th, 11th and 12th-graders from Roosevelt, Jefferson, Grant and Lincoln High Schools participated in the workshop. Portland was named earlier this year by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the official 2013 North American WED host city.
Based on Dr. Jemison’sThe Earth We Share™experientialcurriculum, the students learned the vital importance water plays in our everyday lives and how to decrease the amount of food we waste daily. The students tackled an array of key local and regional environmental challenges and discovered the critical interplay between food, water and biodiversity, energy, health, recreation, the economy, education and urban living. As they developed solutions to address these challenges, the students consulted with experts from Bayer, UNEP, Nike, InFocus, City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services and other Portland-based industry, education, environment, regional government and non-governmental organizations.
'As UNEP’s longtime partner, Bayer is once again very proud and honored to bring Dr. Jemison and her engaging and environmental literacy building workshop to Portland high school students as part of World Environment Day celebrations,” said Lauren Trocano, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Bayer Corporation. “We understand that to achieve a truly sustainable world we must begin by educating today's youth early on about their role in protecting the planet and its various ecosystems and that is what the workshop is all about.”
“This year’s WED theme of ‘Reducing your foodprint,’ is designed to introduce students to the impact their food choices have on the environment, and we hope that the knowledge they acquire will empower them to make informed decisions in their own lives,” added Amy Fraenkel, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America. “By making students aware of these kinds of environmental challenges through workshops like Dr. Jemison’s, we are giving them the information and the tools they will need to address these challenges as tomorrow’s leaders.”
“Understanding of the environment is a key component of science literacy. And fundamental to building science literacy skills is engaging students in observation, inquiry, and critical thinking. And this workshop, just like all of the science education projects Bayer and I work on promotes this hands-on approach,' said Jemison, who also serves as national spokesperson for Bayer'sMaking Science Make Sense®program. “As they work to discover solutions, the students learn about and address problems faced by communities in our country and around the world - food and water waste that drains natural resources and are major contributors to negative, unsustainable impacts on all aspects of everyday life, from hygiene and health to agriculture, transportation, recreation and energy.”
International Children’s Painting Competition Exhibition Opens
In addition to the workshop, Bayer and UNEP are sponsoring the sixth annual North American exhibition of the International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment which opened today and is free to the public.
Held at Portland State University’s Native American Student and Community Center, the 50-piece exhibition features the top North American and Portland winners’ artwork. The paintings were selected from 708 submissions received from students in 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces.
The exhibition will run from June 5 through October 31, 2013.
The Earth We Share™ is a trademark of The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence.
About Bayer Corporation andMaking Science Make Sense®
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. As an inventor company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve the quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and acts as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen. In fiscal 2012, the Group employed 110,500 people and had sales of €39.8 billion. In North America, Bayer had 2012 net sales of €9,576 million ($12,257 million) and employed 15,300 at year-end. For more information, go to www.bayerus.com.
Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) is Bayer’s company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science education, employee volunteerism and a public education campaign. Currently, 12 Bayer sites around the U.S. operate local MSMS programs, which together represent a national volunteer corps of more than 1,000 employees.
About the United Nations Environment Programme and World Environment Day
Established in 1972 following the United Nation’s Conference on the Human Environment, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates world-wide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. With thousands of events in the six UNEP regions, World Environment Day is considered the largest environmental event of its kind.
About the UNEP Regional Office for North America
The mission of UNEP's Regional Office for North America (RONA), which is located in Washington, D.C. and comprises Canada and the United States, is: to build support in the region for UNEP's work; to promote effective responses to international environmental challenges; and to foster cooperation on environmental issues between North America and the broader international community. To achieve this mission, RONA’s strategy is to promote collaboration between UNEP and all sectors of North American society, including U.S. and Canadian governmental institutions, the private sector and civil society groups, and to provide UNEP with North American perspectives. For more information on UNEP RONA, go to: www.unep.org/rona.
About Bayer and UNEP
Bayer AG is the first company in the world to forge a long-term partnership with UNEP in the area of youth and environment. The partners first began cooperating on youth environmental projects in Asia in the late 1990s. In 2004, Bayer and UNEP signed a framework agreement to globalize this partnership. The partners have jointly organized a dozen environmental projects for young people around the world, including the TUNZA International Youth and Children’s Conference, regional youth networks, the Bayer Young Environmental Envoy Program, the International Children’s Painting Competition, the photo competition Ecology in Focus in Eastern Europe and TUNZA Magazine. In addition, Bayer Corporation in the United States supports UNEP’s World Environment Day activities in North America. Further information on the partnership between UNEP and Bayer is available on the Internet at: www.unep.bayer.com.
About the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (DJF)
DJF, a non-profit 501(c)3 foundation, emphasizes building critical thinking skills, experiential teaching methods, science literacy, and integrated approaches to learning and individual responsibility in achieving excellence. DJF programs include; TEWS residential and day camps (that have been held throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa), Women of Color in Flight, and Reality Leads Fantasy celebrations. Its premier program, The Earth We Share (TEWS) international science camp seeks to increase middle school and secondary school student’s science literacy and problem solving skills, build knowledge of the impact of science, mathematics and technology on society, increase understanding of societal and environmental impact on science endeavors, and enhance teacher skills in experiential education. DJF is currently working with Los Angeles Unified School District and NASA on TEWS-Space Race to train over 300 teachers and impact up to 6000 students in science literacy. DJF was named after and based on the teachings of Dr. Mae Jemison’s mother, Mrs. Dorothy Jemison, a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for over 25 years. For more information, please go to: www.tews-spacerace.org.
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