Two dozen prizes were awarded on Wednesday by the Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development.
The 14th annual Education for Sustainable Development recognition event honored Saskatchewan projects that educate about sustainable development, while meeting at least one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Event coordinator Margret Asmuss said the event aims to raise awareness.
“We’re looking at our sustainability challenges and it seems so overwhelming and it seems like nothing is happening, but there’s a lot going on that we’re just not aware of,” Asmuss said, referring to the 26 projects highlighted during the event.
Rick Virgass of the Calling Lakes Ecomuseum received an award for his efforts to remove tires from Lake Katepwa on his kayak.
“It’s nice to see who else is getting an award and to see what the whole community is doing to celebrate together,” Vigrass said.
Education, in this sense, is not only defined at the academic level, but also includes public education.
SaskOutdoors received a recognition award for its virtual outdoor learning workshops.
“Our philosophy is first and foremost that you have to have experience outdoors to care about the natural world and then care about its future,” said Leah Japp, general manager of SaskOutdoors.
The event also provides a networking opportunity, bringing like-minded people together.
“Partnerships for the Goals” is number 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A group of Luther College students have been credited with doing just that, connecting with students in the United States and India.
“It’s a little annoying because a lot of [the other recipients] are much older than us, like adults, but it also feels good to be around people who have accomplished more than us,” said Fortune Matand, an 11th grade environmental science student at Luther College. .
Jason Donev, a University of Calgary professor on sabbatical from the University of Regina, received an award for his introductory energy course.
This course, although based on physics, has minimized math and is available to all students with all information free online.
He said the “Energy Encyclopedia” is the most widely used online energy resource in the world.
Donev thinks everyone has their own story about energy, and he was eager to hear how other event attendees viewed sustainability.
By starting conversations, people can learn what they can do to play their role.
“Because we are a big part of the problem, we can also be the solution.” Donev explained. “So there’s reason for hope because if people can change what we’re doing, it will change the outcome that we’re currently facing.”
Twenty-four NCE SK Recognition Awards were presented alongside the Lyle Benko Future Generations Award for K-12 Achievement, which was awarded to Centennial School’s Earth-Based Learning Project, Regina Public Schools.
In addition to the Dr. Garth Pickard Award for Post-Secondary Excellence in Education for Sustainable Development Engaging Climate Change: Creativity, Community, Intervention, which was awarded to Dr. Sarah Abbott from the Faculty of Media, Arts and performance from the University of Regina.
The event is held annually and applications open shortly after the New Year.