The Alden Central School District will host Western New York's first High School Environmental Summit during a two-day conference March 23-24.
During the gathering, teams of five to eight students representing six school districts, including Alden, will brainstorm ecologically sound solutions to environmental problems with skilled environmental trainers.
David Bauer, president of Sustainable Earth Solutions and an environmental science teacher at Alden Central High School, said the summit is the realization of his dream of solving today's environmental challenges with creative energy.
Christina Coyle, president of Prizm Solutions, a consulting company, is assisting in the effort, in which students and faculty advisers will be encouraged to solve school problems through leadership and creativity.
"Creative skills are skills that can be taught," Coyle said. "They are life skills."
"Kids are overloaded with data; this is a filtering skill," Bauer added.
After identifying each district's environmental challenge, Bauer said, the districts will be provided the information and follow-up needed to solve their problems for up to two months after the seminar concludes.
Not only will the summit encourage different educational entities to work together, but it also encourages businesses around the district to be involved as well, because registration costs $1,000, with the district providing $500 and local businesses or sponsors contributing the other $500.
In addition, business sponsors will provide $300 awards to the student teams after the submission of a follow-up survey in order to provide the teams the financial backing needed to get their projects started.