HPA and The Kohala Center Host Second Annual Student Congress on Sustainability 2009

Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy and The Kohala Center are hosting the Second Annual Student Congress on Sustainability 2009 from June 11-14, 2009 at HPA’s Upper Campus.  About 100 students and teachers are expected to attend the three-day conference, which provides students an opportunity to build awareness and to collaborate on student-driven environmental initiatives.  All Big Island public, private, and charter high schools are invited to send student and faculty delegates, who will join colleagues from other neighbor island schools. Through the generous support of the community, companies, and foundations, the conference is free to all students and schools. 

“We are encouraged by the positive response from students who attended last summer and want to return again for the second year,” said Karen Yamasato, Congress chair.

This year’s Congress again will feature expert speakers, hands-on workshops, a full-day excursion, and time for students to discuss and exchange ideas.  Speakers include Captain Charles Moore, founder of Algalita Marine Research Foundation and discoverer of the Eastern Pacific Gyre, a trash dump twice the size of Texas between California and Hawai’i. The Congress will also feature speakers Henk Rogers, founder of Blue Planet Foundation, and Dr. William Steiner, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Students will attend six workshops covering a wide range of topics, including agriculture, compostable products, reefs and oceans, hydrogen cells, electric cars, biofuels, and energy audits.  Delegates also will take an excursion to several diverse island farms featuring aquaponics and hydroponics.  Representatives from The Natural Step, a non-profit global organization whose mission is to promote real change toward a sustainable world, will be at the conference to work with the students.

Current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who are enrolled at high schools on the Big Island are encouraged to contact their principals if they wish to attend.  Interested students also may contact Yamasato at 895-1106 (e-mail kyamasato@hpa.edu, fax 881-4071).  Application deadline is May 1, 2009.  Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

Student application forms are available here.  Applications may be downloaded, completed, and returned via fax or e-mail to HPA.  Students will be notified when their application has been received and accepted. 

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