IMAGINING TOMORROW Video and Creative Writing Program Winners

Submitted by NESEA

2007-05-21 22:18:01

May 21, 2007
Close to one hundred students, parents, teachers and guests were on hand at Genzyme Center in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA on Friday morning, May 11, to view the creations of the finalists and to be present for the announcement of the winners in the 2007 IMAGINING TOMORROW: ALTERNATE ENERGY FUTURES contest. Entries could be videos or a piece of future-fiction creative writing. All entries were required to have energy issues, polices, or technologies for the basis of their work; and students entering were required to include an afterword that explained their starting point for their idea and what they learned in the course of the project.
A highlight of the awards reception was the welcome from Rick Mattila, Director of Environmental Affairs at Genzyme Corporation, who spoke about Genzyme Center: the awardwinning, platinum level LEEDS certified office building in Massachusetts; the philosophy that went into the design; and the benefits that have resulted.
This was followed by remarks to the students from three very special guest speakers: Mr. Greg Watson, newly appointed Massachusetts Assistant Secretary for Clean Energy Technology; State Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Chair of the newly created Special Senate Committee on Climate Change; and Beth Daley, environmental reporter for the Boston Globe.
As Greg Watson commented “As Assistant Secretary for Clean Energy Technology, ‘imagining tomorrow’ is a big part of what I do everyday. I am pleased to play a role in today’s ceremony honoring the talent, creativity, and vision of the Commonwealth’s future clean energy leaders.” This was echoed by the Senator Pacheco, who commented later: “"I was both impressed and inspired by the students and the caliber of their work. I commend these students on their efforts. Their hard work, dedication and ingenuity when confronting such a complex issue as global warming gives me hope for the future."
The largest group attending also traveled the farthest; approximately 40 students traveled from Williamstown, under the guidance of Michael Powers, M.Ed., an Instructional Technology Specialist at Mt. Greylock High School. Mr. Powers said that in total, eighty-five students at Mt. Greylock participated in the program.
The second largest group, approximately 12 students and parents, was from Northampton, accompanied by Jane Madden and Michael Jacobson-Hardy, both members of the Technology and Business Faculty at Northampton High School.

Video “Shorts” Awards:

The Video Shorts category included videos that were 4-6 minutes in length, allowing for a creative story or a documentary. First place for a creative story went to Luke McMahon, for his video “Heat”. Luke is a junior at Landmark School in Beverly, MA; his story centered on a time where energy shortages result in extreme prices and desperate actions. Luke writes in his afterward, “After creating this project, it has struck me that the future is going to drastically change in the next twenty years whether we want it to or not…There are signs of this in the world already…fighting over the control of oil”.
All of the awards for documentaries went to students from Northampton High School: First place for a documentary went to Matt Motamedi, Chris Nagle and Lauren Garlock, for “Wood Chip Burner at Cooley Dickenson Hospital”, the only hospital in the state to use wood chips as the heat source for their furnace. In the afterword, Lauren writes “I didn’t know about sustainable energy before this video project…It is important for people to know that there are different routes that you can take for using more cost efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources.”
Second place went to Tom Klekotka and John Lyons, for “Wind: Tomorrow’s Clean Power”; the video researched the possibilities of wind, structured around an interview with Sally Wright, a wind engineer from the University of Massachusetts Energy lab.
Third place awards in the video documentaries went to the team of Bryan Magdalensky, Jake Ruyffelaert, and Tom Belavance-Grace, for “Grease Cars”, about a conversion kit company in Easthampton; and to the Motamedi, et al team, for “Solar Panels at JFK Middle School”.

Video “PSA” Awards:

The PSA category was restricted to videos that captured their message in 30 to 60 seconds. First place for a PSA was for “Blue Pill, Red Pill” by Colin Sullivan, a senior from Northampton. In his afterword, Colin writes that a fellow student created a PSA showing the indifference of students to the subject of global, that “teenagers don’t seem to be facing the issue of global warming and its impacts…I decided to make a PSA that would get the attention of this target group…I decided to use the blue pill and red pill concepts from [the Matrix]…if you take the blue pill you will be denying what is already happening…if you take the red pill you will become aware…” Second place was a tie between two entries from Mt. Greylock: the team entry from sophomores Danny Chhuon, Andy LeBarron, Don Maffuccio and Jim Nichols, Hooves Productions, for “Global Warming PSA”. Their PSA was educational and comprehensive, from problems to solutions; in their afterword they write “Although the U.S. is merely 4% of the earth’s population, it is responsible for 22% of the earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. As the most powerful nation in the world…Hooves Productions believe the United States should set the bar, and take a great stand against global warming.”
The other second place award for a PSA went to “Days of Summer?” by senior Charlene E. Michon, Charbar Inc., which focused on the coastal impacts that global warming would have. Charlene writes “…Who doesn’t like the beach and great summer weather?...[But] There are three million people that live within the average sea level round the world…I have changed my daily lifestyle, but sometimes I feel like I alone am not enough. I have learned by doing this PSA that it is one way I can reach out to my community…We could end up with the whole world fighting to protect our planet.”
Third place was also a tie, going to a freshman Mr. Greylock team, The Rubber Ducks: Sean Peltier, Dominic Boschetti, Nick Delnegro, Caleb Pudvar, and Mary Shanley, for “Where’d That Snow Go?”. “In their afterword they write, “We’ll be the first to admit, when we started this project we knew very little about global warming. Over these last few weeks we’ve learned an immeasurable amount of information…We as humans embrace the role of the “most intelligent animals on earth”; unfortunately we have yet to embrace the responsibility that comes with…that role.”
The other third place team was SAJ: Jordan Adams, Anthony Bellman and Samuel Garavaltis, for “Make a Difference”. A team member writes “During the making of [this] PSA, I learned many things. I personally will start changing my daily habits, to better our future. I hope that this PSA will convince others to do the same.
Five entries received a Fourth-Place Plus award: Mike Helly, a junior at Northampton, for “Global Warming Opinions”, which captured the unsettling indifference of fellow students. The remaining four were all from Mt. Greylock: “Earth in Twenty Years”, an anchor format, by KMD (Michael Leja, Katie-Rose De Candida, and Max Joder); Ryan O’Conner, Revo-lution, for “Saving Energy”; “Global Warming” by CGJK (Gina Riggins, Jessica Lemieux, Kelsie Leon, and Cameron Szymanski); and “Wobal Glarming” by Purple Armadillos (Erin Bates, Bridgette Tattersall, Kristy Hamilton and Autumn Wolf).
Fourth Place Awards also went to the other two finalists from Mt. Greylock: “Global Warming” by Einstein Productions (Brittany Calderwood and Trevor Rathbun) and “Global Warming PSA” by the All Stars (Lindsay Maynard, Brigid Flynn, Ty-Kia Hay, Hayden Kuhn, TJ McCarthy and Brier Turner).
Instructors from both Mt. Greylock and from Northampton noted that they were taking these films out to the community, to educate others, by running them on local cable channels, and at with a film festival at each school.

Creative Writing, Future-Fiction Awards:

The First Place Award this year went to Alison M Crandall, a sophomore at Lee High School, Lee, Massachusetts, for her story “Summer Rain”, a wonderfully written story of pre-adulthood, and a world that has found solutions, but that also has to deal with the wreckage created by the past dependency on oil by many world economies.
As there was last year, there was a tie for Second Place, won by Emily Allen, now a junior at Arlington High School, for her story “Broken Man”, and by Katherine B. Kinkel, a sophomore at Wellesley High School, for her story, “The Sovereignty of the Faithful”. “Broken Man” is the story of a lobbyist who gradually is overwhelmed by the fear of change that confronts him in his work. “The Sovereignty of the Faithful” is a story about an isolated community in a flooded Manhattan, operating under a
changing and corrupt government that has come into power as a result of “the alarming…confusion that will ensue in the event of such a tragedy.”
Third Place was won by Julie Cain-Mailly, a sophomore at Marlborough High School, for her story, “The Diary of Jane”. Jane’s diary begins like that of any typical self-absorbed teen, who is faced with adjusting to the changes forced on her world by her (and others’) earlier indifference.
And Fourth Place Awards went to Amanda J Bennett, a freshman at Deerfield Academy, for “Ethanol with a Side of Trouble, Please”; Amanda Cain-Mailly, a sophomore at Marlborough High School, for “Going Backwards”; Colleen M Ottomano, a junior at Hopkinton High School, for “Tennis Matches and Space Bugs”; and to Megan M Roy, a sophomore at Shrewsbury High School, for “The Panic of 2020”. As part of the IMAGINING TOMORROW program supported by MTC, NESEA also made Clean Energy awards at both the Regional High-School and Middle-School Fairs, in partnership with the Massachusetts State Science and Technology Fair. Award winners were acknowledged at the reception and included in the program.
Mary Essary, program director, commented during the presentations, that in the past few months, as she has traveled to the Regional Science Fairs, read the stories, viewed the videos, and read in the afterwords what the students have learned and how this experience has changed them, she has become renewed by the creativity, originality, concern, and global consciousness that she has witnessed among these students. She stated afterward “With this energy and determination, we will be able to meet the twin challenges of energy supplies and global environment that are so necessary for us to face – for our future, and for and that of everyone in this world that we share.”
All of the winners of the Massachusetts program will have their creations, or, in the case of the Science Fair award winners, an abstract of their work, published online. The stories and science awards will be available by May 20, 2007, and the videos by May 27, 2007; please check This is the second year for the program, and with this year’s success it is expected to continue in the 2007-2008 school year. For information or for any questions, please contact info[[at-symbol]] in Massachusetts, and info[[at-symbol]] if outside the state.
The video portion of the IMAGINING TOMORROW: ALTERNATE ENERGY FUTURES program was supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC); the awards reception is made possible in part by a grant from the Genzyme Corporation. Funding for the creative writing program is from The Foresight Project, a non-profit corporation based in Massachusetts, which in turn is supported by donations from individuals and corporate sponsorships. For more information on supporting IMAGINING TOMORROW, use the email above.

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