SMART Schools Challenge Ends on a High Note

Read about Callye’s SMART School wrap up and her summer rafting adventures:

The 2015 – 2016 SMART Schools Challenge ended in April with such successes! Thirteen Montana public schools were awarded as SMART School Champions in the categories of energy, recycling, and greening with projects ranging from implementing new recycling programs to creating a student led garden on campus. The faculty and students I met with while delivering educational presentations throughout the challenge and awarding the winners had nothing but good things to say about the progress they had made throughout the SMART Schools Challenge. With the hard work of all 61 participating schools, the Challenged managed to help save over $170,000 in energy consumption, divert over 60,000 pounds of waste from landfills, as well as facilitate student awareness about healthy living.

To honor all the schools who participated in the Challenge we held the second annual SMART Schools Symposium on May 19th. All schools were invited to attend to share their experience within the Challenge. Each school had the opportunity to network with other schools as well as collectively give a short presentation about their projects. The event was held in the Capitol Building’s Rotunda with the Lt Governor in attendance. I believe it was a great turn out and the students had a great time chatting with other schools and exploring the capitol building. Some of the students from across the state mentioned that the event was their first time visiting the Capitol Building. We had a great turn out to the event with a total of 66 students from all across Montana. We are hoping that the event got participating schools excited for the 2016 -2017 SMART Schools Challenge.

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Outside of SMART Schools I have thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of summer! Last weekend I had the opportunity to go rafting for the first time down a 12 mile stretch of the Yellowstone River with a handful of new friends. The experience was exhilarating to say the least. The day started out as overcast. We ended up renting wet suits to keep warm and I am so thankful we did. It started raining about an hour into our float. We decided to stick it out and not bail to hitch hike back to the car. Pushing myself to finish the trip and in good spirits was a true test of endurance. Once we were all packed up after the trip, nothing could warm me up better than an Irish coffee!

Callye F.Callye Foster graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and minor in Energy and Sustainability. She served two years as President for the Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions UCF (IDEAS for UCF) Chapter. Callye serves with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality as their Smart Schools Coordinator.

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