Two dozen awards were given by the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development on Wednesday.
The 14th annual Education for Sustainable Development Recognition Event honoured Saskatchewan projects that educate about sustainable development, while also meeting at least one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Event coordinator, Margret Asmuss, said the event aims to bring an awareness.
“We look at our sustainability challenges and it seems so overwhelming and it seems like nothing’s happening, but there’s a lot happening we just don’t know about,” said Asmuss, referring to the 26 projects highlighted at the event.
Rick Virgass, with the Calling Lakes Ecomuseum, received an award for his efforts pulling tires from Katepwa Lake on his kayak.
“It’s nice to see who else is getting an award and sort of what the whole community is doing to celebrate together,” said Vigrass.
Education in this sense, isn’t just defined on the academic level, but also includes public education.
SaskOutdoors received a Recognition Award for their Outdoor Learning Virtual Workshops.
“Our philosophy, it’s primarily that you need to have an experience outside so that you care about the natural world and then care about the future of it,” 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’s Sustainable Development Goals.
A group of students from Luther College were recognized for doing just that, connecting with students in the U.S. and India.
“It’s kind of nerve-racking because a lot of [the other recipients] are way older than us, like adults, but it also feels good to be around people who have achieved more than us,” said Fortune Matand, a Grade 11 student in Environmental Science at Luther College.
Jason Donev, a professor from the University of Calgary who is on sabbatical at the University of Regina, received an award for his Introduction to Energy course.
This course, while physics-based, has minimized math and is available for all students with all of the information free online.
He said the “Energy Encyclopedia” is the most used online resource about energy in the world.
Donev believes everyone has their own story about energy, and he was looking forward to hearing how others at the event view sustainability.
By starting conversations, people can learn what they can do to play their part.
“Because we are a lot of the problem, we can also be the solution.” Donev explained. “So there’s reason to hope because if people can change what we’re doing it will change the outcome that we’re currently facing.”
Twenty-four RCE SK Recognition Awards were presented alongside the Lyle Benko Future Generations Award for K-12 achievement which was awarded to the Ècole Centennial Land Based Learning Project, Regina Public Schools.
As well as 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 of the Faculty of Media, Art and Performance at the University of Regina.
The event is hosted annually and applications open shortly into the New Year.