The SolarQuest iNet News Service is a multi-media, project-based, experiential learning program for students. Serving as iNet News Team correspondents, students with a demonstrated interest in sustainable development participate in and report on local, national, and international events. Past events have included the 10th Anniversary of the NESEA American Tour de Sol (May, 1998) and the Presidents Council for Sustainable Development National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America (May, 1999). Photo at left: No. 58 NFA Sol Machine, Team NFA, Newburgh, NY displaying their vehicle at the 1998 NESEA Tour.
iNet News Team members are selected from public and private schools all across the United States. Prior to an event, a nomination form is set up on the web for the solicitation of iNet News Team member applications and a notice is distributed to school districts, parent-teacher associations, and educational service organizations nationwide. Nominating organizations have included the U.S. Department of Energy, the National 4-H Council and the National Science Teachers Association. Nominations must include references and an essay from the nominee about sustainable development issues related to the proposed news event. iNet News Team members are then selected by a panel of judges. A telephone interview with the nominee and their parents may be required prior to the final selection of a Team member.
An iNet News Team may also be selected from a single school. The iNet News Team that reported on the 1998 NESEA American Tour del Sol consisted of nine students from Chelsea High School. None of the Team members had prior experience with electric vehicles or sustainable transportation issues. Photo at right: iNet News Team members from Chelsea High School, Chelsea, VT at Princeton H.S., Princeton, N.J.
Membership on the iNet News Team is based on merit. For school-based teams, the opportunity to participate on the iNet News Team may result in a greater motivation to learn in the classroom.
The 1999 NESEA American Tour de Sol iNet News Team consisted of middle school students from the Riverside School, Lyndonville, VT. The Riverside School electric vehicle race team---Helios the Heron---has competed in the NESEA American Tour de Sol for six years under the supervision of science teacher, Topher Waring. Photo at left: Helios the Heron at the 1999 NESEA American Tour de Sol.
The iNet News Service covers major events of national and international importance to the area of sustainable development. In partnership with the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development, EcoSage Corporation co-sponsored twenty-one Youth Delegates at the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America. (May, 1999) Representing fifteen states from Alaska to Florida, the Youth Delegates participated in the National Youth Roundtable and the National Roundtable consisting of government and industry leaders.
Representing the "Voices of American Youth" at this milestone event, the Youth Delegates articulated their vision of a sustainable future to the 3,000 people attending the National Town Meeting in Detroit and, by satellite up-link, to over 60,000 conference viewers at concurrent events at points across America. Photo at right: Vice President Al Gore framed by the faces of Youth Delegates at the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America.
iNet News Team correspondents both report on and participate in events. Their experience is facilitated and documented by experienced youth leaders, and their reports are published on EcoSage Corporations proprietary SolarQuest Virtual Schoolhouse. At the 1999 NESEA American Tour de Sol, the iNet News Team raced their electric vehicle, competing against electric vehicles entered by college teams, automotive engineers, and major electric vehicle manufacturers. At the National Town Meeting in Detroit, iNet News Team members interviewed key government and industry leaders. Photo at left: the iNet News Team at interview with Rodney Slater, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation.
iNet News Team Interviews at the National Town Meeting in Detroit included: Carol Browner, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency; Dennis W. Archer, Mayor, City of Detroit; Harry J. Pearce, Vice Chairman, General Motors Corporation; Ray C. Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO, Interface, Inc.; and Steve Percy, former Chairman, CEO, BP Amoco, Inc.
Other activities of the iNet News Team include documentary film-making, community service, public speaking, and sponsoring educational workshops. iNet News Team member and Youth Delegate Stephen Hands, a student at Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan, developed an educational workshop at the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America entitled: Transportation as a Catalyst for Strengthening Detroit.
Presenters in the workshop included: George Cushingberry, Jr., Commissioner, Wayne County, Michigan; Gloria Jeff, Deputy Federal Highway Administrator, Federal Highway Administration; Amory Lovins, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Research, Rocky Mountain Institute; and Albert Martin, Director, Department of Transportation, City of Detroit, Michigan. Photo at right: iNet News Team members interview Ray C. Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO, Interface, Inc.
The 21st Century promises a new set of challenges for America's youth. The iNet News Service and the companion SolarQuest Virtual Schoolhouse provide critical learning resources about Sustainable Development produced by youth for a youth audience. The goal is to prepare a new generation of leaders to meet the demands of the future. Photo at left: Over 200 Youth Philanthropists at the Summer Youth Leadership Conference (sponsored by the Council of Michigan Foundations) report on Sustainable Development to the SolarQuest Virtual Schoolhouse.
An Internet-based, distance-learning technology available to anyone with access to the World Wide Web, the SolarQuest Virtual Schoolhouse provides the opportunity for a community of committed learners---from government, industry and education---to collaborate on sustainable development projects without the constraints of time or place.
The iNet News Service is funded on a project-by-project or annual basis by event or program sponsors. Event or program sponsors include government agencies, corporations, private foundations, and educational institutions. iNet News Service sponsors have included the President's Council on Sustainable Development, Electric Motors of the Americas, National 4-H Council, SunRise Sustainable Resource Group, Western Neveda Community College, William and Moya Lear Foundation, and Council of Michigan Foundations.
Photo at right: Detroit area youth production crew web-casting a live interview from the National Town Meeting. Electronic Data Services provided the Mobile Internet Café with 12 computer workstations from Compaq Computers. Intellicom provided two-way, satellite communications for Internet access, two way video production, and live web-cast capabilities.
As the world celebrates the beginning of a new millenium, America's youth must be prepared to meet the social, environmental, and economic challenges of the global economy. The iNet News Service offers youth opportunities to not only learn about the challenges they will face, but also to be participants in the unfolding of the future. By reporting on and participating in milestone events in the U.S. and around the world, iNet News Team correspondents will provide leadership and critical information to peers, to policy makers, and to the general public. For current information on iNet News Service activities, visit the SolarQuest web site at http://www.solarquest.com.