Student Environmental Congress
- Educates... regional high school students
- Unites... diverse students
- Involves... students in their community
The Student Environmental Congress is the only comprehensive environmental education program serving northeast Ohio high schools.
The Student Environmental Congress (SEC) unites urban and suburban high schools to become environmentally aware and involved in their schools and communities. SEC educates students and gives them tools to improve the quality of the environment in their neighborhoods.
Each year the Student Environmental Congress brings students together around an issue, such as urban sprawl or energy, through a series of workshops and fun, educational outings. The final outing, a spring community-service project, is a culmination of the students’ yearlong work and planning.
The highlight of the Student Environmental Congress is a student-led conference, which takes place every spring. In addition to the outings each school develops their own environmental project. Student participants alternate between presenting a workshop on their yearlong project and attending other school’s workshops.
Examples of Past SEC Projects:
- Students at John Hay HS on Cleveland’s east side transformed a barren courtyard into beautiful natural habitat.
- John F. Kennedy HS on Cleveland’s south east side dedicated four years of work to environmental justice, and influenced one local industry to reduce its air pollution by 14 percent.
- Strongsville HS developed a traveling interactive display on energy efficiency.
- Through community outreach and attendance at City Council meeting, Beachwood HS students preserved a section of diminishing green space and influenced the City to use Green Building principals in the new community center.
- Students at Max Hayes HS, on Cleveland’s west side, adopted an east side kindergarten class. They brought activities to their classroom and took them on hikes and to a nature center.
Since 1997, 3000 students have been trained to address local environmental issues and actively improve their community’s health. In just the past 5 years, through the outreach efforts of the Student Environmental Congress participants, over 3,250 elementary, middle, and high school students and 1,800 adults have been educated on environmental issues and 62 outreach and community-service project have been conducted