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City Teens Take on Global Issues in One Planet, Many People High School Research Project Competition

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Projects on Display at The New York Public Library Thursday May 21, 2009

New York, N.Y. /Washington, DC (5/17/09) – New York City high school students design projects around the challenges of energy, deforestation and brownfields in the One Planet, Many People Research Project Competition and exhibition. The winning entries will be announced in an interactive awards ceremony at The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue on Thursday, May 21, 2009.

Prizes are to include college scholarships donated by the UN Foundation, the Meridian Foundation and Baum Foundation; attendance at the United Nations Foundation Youth Leadership Summit on Climate Change in New York City; and summer internships at the Library.

One Planet, Many People is an initiative of the Community Learning Support Organization of the New York City Department of Education and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in partnership with The New York Public Library, the Meridian Foundation, the Baum Foundation and the United Nations Foundation.

“UNEP is proud to be affiliated with this initiative, and congratulates both the students and teachers for their commitment and hard work, which resulted in an impressive body of work that reveals a high-level of environmental awareness,” says Amy Fraenkel, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America.

“The New York Public Library is a terrific place for students (and teachers) to access primary and secondary sources and innovate new ideas; we are excited to host this collaborative project,” said Elaine Charnov, Director of Education, Programming and Exhibitions at The New York Public Library.

“I reached out to forge collaborations with organizations possessing global missions, for the purpose of helping to make learning in our social studies classrooms a global and relevant real-world experience for our youngsters,” said Hadiya Daniel-Wilkins, EA. Sr. InstructionalProgram Specialistfor High School Humanities, Department of Education, City of New York . “To that end, a research project was designed to help increase inquiry learning, academic skills development and challenge the teaching and learning of world issues from sources beyond the textbook.The collaboration with the United Environment Programme, the United Nations Foundation and The New York Public Library will not only provide our students with opportunities to share their research findings with peers in various parts of the world, it will simultaneously help our students increase understandings of our geography and our global interdependency.”

The aim of this competition is to challenge the students to create web-based presentations, performances and products that will inspire environmental action.It also provides a real-world learning opportunity for urban youth, who rarely have the opportunity to have their voices heard in a global arena.

“This project allowed me to get more in-depth with a topic I knew a little something about.I can now teach others about aspects of and the realistic effects of globalization.My view on how the world operates is now different.I now realize that whenthingshappen to people how it influences decisions ourpoliticians make,”said Pedro Crespo, 10th grade, Murray Bergtraum High School, Manhattan, New York.

“This project taught me that brownfields have a heavy impact on the economy, environment and mankind.I was also very surprised to discover how many people did not know that brownfields existed, when we were conducting our surveys,” saidLamis Abdul Waheed, Metropolitan Corporate Academy, Brooklyn, New York.

Throughout the spring semester, the students met in social studies classrooms and libraries to work on their projects. The students were challenged to undertake research on global issues championed by UNEP and the United Nations Foundation.To complete their projects, students had access to United Nations and Library resources and were given comprehensive guidelines, which had to cover the areas of environment and society; human systems; and human rights.

The projects will be judged by representatives from the New York City Environment Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and McKay Thomas Architect Company. Awards will be presented by Amy Fraenkel, Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor for the UN Foundation and Deanne LaRue, Executive Director of the Meridian Foundation.

The competition and exhibition are named after the UNEP publication One Planet, Many People, which illustrates 30 years of global environmental degradation through satellite images. For more information on the Atlas see http://www.na.unep.net/OnePlanet ManyPeople/index.php.

Schools which participated in this research competition and exhibition:
Abraham Lincoln High School
Acorn High School for Social Justice
Automotive High School
Canarsie High School
Curtis High School
Frederick Douglas Academy IV
George Westinghouse High School
High School for Enterprise Business & Technology
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School
John Dewey High School
Metropolitan Corporate Academy
Murray Bergtraum High School
Paul Robeson High School
Science Skills High School
Unity Center for Urban Technologies
William E. Grady Career and Technical High School
Middle School 203

Support for this event was provided to The New York Public Library by The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation.

About the United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading authority on the environment within the U.N. system, providing a forum for governments to make and enforce rules to protect the world’s natural resources. UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.UNEP’s work includes: assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends; developing international and national environmental agreements and legal instruments; strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment; integrating economic development and environmental protection; facilitating the transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable development; encouraging new partnerships and approaches within civil society and the private sector.

For more information, please contact: Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox at egc.rona.unep.org or visitwww.unep.org


About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers - the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library - and 87 Branch Libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves over 16 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through its website, www.nypl.org.

 


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Contact: Nadia Riley| 212.592.7177 |Nadia_Riley@nypl.org

 


May 21 – Schedule of Events

12:00 p.m.
Reception and exhibition of student projects

1:30 p.m.
Welcome and prize presentation event with remarks by:
Elaine Goldberg, New York Department of Education
Amy Fraenkel, Director, UNEP RONA
Elaine Charnov, The New York Public Library
Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor for the UN Foundation
Deanne LaRue, The Meridian Foundation

2:30 p.m.
Spoken Word event by:
Maya Imani Williams
Kesed Ragin
Alexis Marie
Jasmin Manns
Brannon Woodfin

3:00 p.m.
Exhibition open to the public
May 21 – Schedule of Events

12:00 p.m.
Reception and exhibition of student projects

1:30 p.m.
Welcome and prize presentation event with remarks by:
Elaine Goldberg, New York Department of Education
Amy Fraenkel, Director, UNEP RONA
Elaine Charnov, The New York Public Library
Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor for the UN Foundation
Deanne LaRue, The Meridian Foundation

2:30 p.m.
Spoken Word event by:
Maya Imani Williams
Kesed Ragin
Alexis Marie
Jasmin Manns
Brannon Woodfin

3:00 p.m.
Exhibition open to the public
May 21 – Schedule of Events

12:00 p.m.
Reception and exhibition of student projects

1:30 p.m.
Welcome and prize presentation event with remarks by:
Elaine Goldberg, New York Department of Education
Amy Fraenkel, Director, UNEP RONA
Elaine Charnov, The New York Public Library
Gillian Sorensen, Senior Advisor for the UN Foundation
Deanne LaRue, The Meridian Foundation

2:30 p.m.
Spoken Word event by:
Maya Imani Williams
Kesed Ragin
Alexis Marie
Jasmin Manns
Brannon Woodfin

3:00 p.m.
Exhibition open to the public

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