Friday, February 25, 2011

Youth Environmental Journalism Conference

Friday, February 25, 2011

When it comes to environmental reporting, you have to read a lot and ask questions. That was Chicago Tribune writer Michael Hawthorne's advice to students at last week's Environmental Journalism Conference. Hawthorne, the keynote speaker, said his advice was for aspiring journalists and citizens alike.

On Friday, February 18th, 178 students from 14 city and suburban high schools participated in the conference at the Museum of Science and Industry.

The conference, hosted by Chicago Botanic Garden and Columbia College, included breakout sessions led by leading researchers, alderwomen and nonprofit founders, as well as viewings of student-made documentaries such as Open Youth Network's "The Cloud Factory" and Free Spirit Media's "Hungry For Change."

Students also participated in a panel discussion led by representatives from CeaseFire, University of Illinois Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago where students explored violence as an environmental issue, including vegetation's calming effect. Later, students learned how to take notes and write a compelling, fact-based article from instructors at Columbia College.

The conference culminated in an opportunity for the students to enter their stories in a contest for prize money. Winners will be announced at the upcoming McCormick-Scholastic Press Association of Chicago High School Journalism Awards on April, 15, 2011.

Thank you to all the speakers and the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Columbia College Chicago Science Journalism Program, the Motorola Foundation, Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation, The Brinson Foundation, HSBC-North American and Kemper Educational and Charitable Fund.

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