Earth Fest 2019 is Saturday

Green Innovators’ Challenge slated

MT. IRON – Our lives are filled with more and more electronics, and we don’t have enough electrical generation to support them. Join our areas young minds as they help solve one of the greatest challenges facing our communities – electrical production and consumption.

The Range Engineering Council and the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability have joined forces at this year’s Earth Fest to host the greatest minds of our future from Grand Rapids to Ely. Earth Fest, to be held Saturday, April 13 in Mt. Iron, will include the models these students have put together to illustrate their ideas to either reduce the amount of energy we use, or novel ways to create more energy. Scientists and engineers have met with Chisholm, Mt. Iron, Eveleth, Virginia, Hibbing and Mesabi East schools. In past years, we have had winners from across the Range – and based upon the entries so far – judging will be difficult.

Judges will be present from ArcelorMittal, Minnesota Power, and UMD evaluating creativity, originality, practicality, value/benefit to society, clarity of the poster and quality of the model. You also get to judge. You get to choose the idea that you think is the greatest as the “People’s Choice.” This is always a great way to reward the time and effort all these students have put into their ideas. First prize is $50 for each level. Level 1 is Grades 4-6, Level 2 is Grades 7-9, and Level 3 is Grades 10-12. The winner of the people’s choice will also receive $50!

Grand Challenge: The United States has about 125 Million households – twice as many as a few decades ago. Along with this growth, our use of electronics is also going through the roof – computers, cell phones, gaming systems along with our refrigerators and TVs. On the Iron Range, we have about 86,000 households, each in need of electricity. If our population keeps growing, and the amount of electricity keeps going up, the electrical generating companies won’t be able to keep up. How can we generate more energy to meet our needs or how can we reduce the energy we use?

As well as the prizes awarded to the students, the school that has the most inventions selected for awards will be named by the REC as “The 2019 STEM Innovator of the Year” and will receive a stipend for purchasing STEM equipment or activities for their classes. Past year’s innovators have purchased iPad field microscopes, subscriptions to online STEM modules, to name a few!

Students will display their ideas at the Merritt Elementary part of the Earth Fest layout from 10 a.m. to noon, when the awards will be announced. We wish all the best to this years’ green innovators!

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